Former U.S.-installed Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi had this to say about U.S. President George W. Bush’s policies:
“Yes, Bush’s policies failed utterly. Utter failure. Failure of U.S. domestic and foreign policy, including fighting terrorism and economic policy.
“His insistence on names like ‘democracy’ and ‘open elections’, without giving attention to political stability, was a big mistake. It cast shadows on Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Egypt, and I believe this will be remembered in history as President Bush’s policy.”
Allawi described Iraq’s current Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s government as being characterized by:
“…weak performance, erected upon political quotas, major government corruption and infiltrated state agencies. Four years passed … and they can’t build the police, army, national institutions…
“Ending Saddam’s regime was essential, but replacing the Saddam regime with extreme chaos was not right. I did not imagine the political process would eat itself from inside or that it would abandon the rule of law and establish political sectarianism.”
Meanwhile, Dick Cheney insists that George Bush will be remembered in a positive light 30 years from now:
“By the time of [Gerald Ford’s] passing a couple of years ago, opinion had totally turned on that. In fact, most people by then, even many who had been very critical 30 years before, were in agreement that in fact it was a good decision, it was the right thing to do from the standpoint of the country.
“I’m personally persuaded that this president and this administration will look very good 20 or 30 years down the road in light of what we’ve been able to accomplish.”
And Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice concurs:
“This isn’t a popularity contest. I’m sorry, it isn’t. What the administration is responsible to do is to make good choices about Americans’ interests and values in the long run–not for today’s headlines, but for history’s judgment. And I am quite certain that when the final chapters are written and it’s clear that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq is gone in favor of an Iraq that is favorable to the future of the Middle East; when the history is written of a U.S.-China relationship that is better than it’s ever been; an India relationship that is deeper and better than it’s ever been; a relationship with Brazil and other countries on the left of Latin America, better than it’s ever been…
“When one looks at what we’ve been able to do in terms of changing the conversation in the Middle East about democracy and values, this administration will be judged well, and I’ll wait for history’s judgment and not today’s headlines.”
In another interview, Ms. Rice continues:
“Because I think the fact that we have really made foreign assistance not just an issue of giving humanitarian aid or giving money to poor people, but really insisting on good governance and fighting corruption. I think the fact that this president has laid the groundwork for a Palestinian state, being the first president, as a matter of policy, to say that there should be one, and now, I think, laying the foundation that’s going to lead to that Palestinian state — I can go on and on…
“I think generations pretty soon are going to start to thank this president for what he’s done. This generation will.”
So, let’s do our job and not allow history to be re-written. While I believe time does allow for perspective, I do not believe it will be favorable toward George W. Bush nor his administration. And yes, while much good may come out of the actions of this administration (like putting the country in a state of mind to elect Barack Obama), I do not think credit will be given to Bush as a hero nor as a man with foresight, but as a confused little man who didn’t understand all the things he did and all the people that pushed him to do it. Ignorant. Misguided. And perhaps exactly what the country needed to take a stand and rediscover all that America can be at its best, by witnessing it at its worst.