Bush in the court of history

An American friend who frequently visits Third World countries recently asked, «How has Bush managed to make so many people hate America, while those who loved America now do not understand it?» His work takes him to places like Bangladesh and Egypt. He has noticed that in the 1960s one might have found photographs of President John F. Kennedy in many houses (perhaps because, despite Vietnam, the United States seemed to care about the Third World) but today one is more likely to find a photograph of Osama bin Laden. How did it come to this? There is no doubt that there were always two Americas: the America of racism and violence and the America of jazz and New York. All of this changed with President George W. Bush. Suddenly all the reactionary, dark instincts of «Middle America» came to the fore. The arch-conservative evangelical Christians began to determine the superpower’s foreign policy. America the extrovert with its pop culture became frightened, wary, almost paranoid. September 11, which brought an outpouring of sympathy from the world, proved to be the start of an unbelievable and silly «crusade» with tragic results in Iraq. Osama could not have expected a better outcome, as Bush undertook al-Qaida’s recruitment campaign. Everything indicates that the average American understands the dark path it entered seven years ago. The next president will have to turn to realpolitik. But Bush has caused irreparable damage. History will be merciless with him, because, for no reason, he set fire to the planet’s most crucial region, because he isolated America and because, in the end, he brought Osama bin Laden into every last hovel in the Islamic world. Who said history is not determined by personalities?

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