Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former security adviser to Jimmy Carter, gives a report card to George W Bush, Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush. In an interesting article in The New York Review of Books, Jonhathan Freedland writes a review about three books written about the Bush administration. One of these is by Brzezinski, Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower.
The conservative Democrat and cold war hawk, gives Bush Sr. a B, while Clinton gets a C. Bush Jr. gets slammed with an F.
Quoting Brzezinski, the article in The New York Review of Books gives a very critical picture of the Bush administration:
It is hard to exaggerate the Bush administration’s fundamental miscalculations on Iraq… Small wonder that after nearly four years of warfare, Iraq has been a disaster, costing thousands of lives, requiring the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars, stretching our forces and reserve system to the breaking point, and becoming a magnet for terrorists and hostility towards the Untied States throughout the Muslim world.
Because of Bush’s self-righteously unilateral conduct of US foreign policy after 9/11, the evocative symbol of America in the eyes of much of the world ceased to be the Statue of Liberty and instead became the Guantánamo prison camp.
It’s pretty evident that the Bush administration has fallen into a trap that has meant the demise of some autocratic regimes. Whenever the leader of such a government believes that he’s on a crusade to save the country or world from some murky enemy like terrorists, that’s the first sign that the government is in self-destruct mode. Wars that such despots declare turn into obsessions that blind them into believing they are indestructible.
It’s unfortunate that countries like Germany with Adolf Hitler and the former Soviet Union with Joseph Stalin had their tragic rendezvous with autocracy. The US is now suffering from the same problem under Bush, even if the president hasn’t been able to destroy all of the US’ democratic institutions.
There’s still hope to salvage US but the main priority must be to get Bush out of the White House.