President George W. Bush: Much maligned and often

detested, his record includes undeniable successes.

 

 

Le Figaro, France

The 'Good Points' of George W. Bush

 

"At a time when 'Obamania' is in full swing, why not say all the good things we can about George W. Bush? Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Hank Paulson and General Petraeus in Baghdad, as well as Zalmay Khalilzad, ambassador and a veritable patron of Afghanistan, will in time come to be seen as true statesmen whose achievements are simply impressive."

 

Chronicle of Alexandre Adler

 

Translated By Kate Davis

 

August 2, 2008

 

France - Le Figaro - Original Article (French)

At a time when "Obamania" is in full swing, why not say all the good things we can about George W. Bush, if not about the eight years he spent battling terrorism? Indeed, a certain amount of false evidence has been laid at the doorstep of the current U.S. president.

 

The first such item is in the process of crumbling before our eyes: not only was the destruction of the Baathist regime in Iraq not a failure for the United States, but it's now turning into a genuine success. First of all, because indeed, Saddam Hussein did a good job organizing what was left of Iraq's state apparatus into an unwavering support system for terrorist operations that America found intolerable. Then, because the current transformation of Iraq has had a considerable medium-term impact: Iraqis have voted freely three times since 2003, although to be sure, these free elections are not yet entirely pluralist. Nevertheless, they have played a role in helping assess the actual size of the three major communities in the country [Sunni, Shiite and Kurd] and have also allowed the real political majority to emerge in Iraq [Shiites rather than Sunnis].

 

The precedent has proven useful in Lebanon and Palestine, with results that are clearly dangerous. But isn't reckoning with this danger better than indefinitely continuing the bitter comedy of minority regimes in the Middle East? And to be sure, in Baghdad, it's the ayatollahs - who are much more devoted to neighboring Iran than the American bayonets that permit them to reign without much difficulty - who dominate political life. The result, which doesn't appear very encouraging, is actually quite a benefit, in that it has forced the less enlightened ayatollahs in power in Tehran and Qom, from charting a course between their desire to quickly develop a nuclear weapon and their obligation to the Shiite community as a whole, in other words, choosing a middle way between an open alliance with the United States and militant anti-Americanism.

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PRESIDENTIAL POLITICAL FUN FROM THE ONION

 

If George Bush has been slow to truly understand the scope of the upheaval he has created in the region, one must also recognize his increasingly evident focus on Tehran over the last two years. The publication of an evaluation by all American intelligence agencies in 2007 , which minimized the technical achievements of Iran in terms of creating a nuclear weapon - questionable though the data may be - at least showed that America was ruling out any hasty military solution to the problem. This immediately resulted to the neutralization of the oddball Moqtada Sadr in Iraq and obtained a reasonable compromise in Lebanon, which then allowed [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad to rid his government of all adventurists who had been polluting it.

 

If we consider several other areas of international politics, we see that George Bush has consistently conducted a moderate and effective policy: far from picking a quarrel with China, Washington has done everything possible to resolve the problem of the North Korean Bomb based on a regional consensus - and has largely succeeded, especially as the Taiwanese independence movement has been calmed democratically [A more pro-China government has been elected in Taiwan].

 

Finally, by combining a non-violent confrontation with Chavez in Venezuela with unfailing financial and military support to President Uribe's Colombia, George Bush is leaving his successor a situation in Latin America that is considerably improved, especially if we add the victory of Calderon's Christian Democrats in Mexico and the relationship, especially economically and technologically (on the issue of ethanol) with Lula's Brazil.

 

As for the rest, and this is essential, we now see that by maintaining strong growth, and even at this moment, by keeping America from entering a recession that the bursting of the subprime bubble clearly provoked, George Bush, helped mightily by [FED Chairman] Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson, his remarkable treasury secretary, has done unparalleled service to the whole of Europe.

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Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, the already-mentioned Hank Paulson, and General Petraeus in Baghdad, as well as Zalmay Khalilzad, ambassador and a veritable patron of Afghanistan, will in time come to be seen as true statesmen whose achievements are simply impressive. Of course, such an assessment avoids evoking the many failures of domestic policy and, unfortunately, of international policy - notably an anti-Russia policy that is completely absurd. But here, on the eve of the presidential election in this first part of the American balance sheet, we wanted to recall the old principle of Roman law, audiatur et altera pars [hear the other side], or in other words: give the accused the right to present his case.

 

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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US August 5, 6:05pm]