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The Worst US President Ever?
Published on Friday, July 8, 2005 by Dawn, Pakistan's leading English-speaking newspaper.
by Huck Gutman
The writer is a professor at the University of Vermont in the US.
Bush is quite likely the worst president in the 200-year history of the United States. This has enormous implications for the international community, since his country is not a small republic like the Maldives or Andorra, but a global behemoth.
His power as the most powerful man on earth derives not from a particular intelligence or set of talents, but by virtue of his position as the leader of the dominant military and economic nation on our planet.
Many of us in the United States do not like the way in which George W. Bush runs the American nation and attempts to run the world. Our numbers are growing: in each of the nine national polls taken in this month less than half the respondents are of the opinion that he is handling the presidency well. More significant still, since he retains a reputation for personal charm which buttresses his standing in the polls, the latest poll reported that only one-third of Americans think the American nation, under Bush, is headed in the right direction. Two polls earlier in the month found that well under 40 per cent of Americans approve of the direction in which he is leading the country.
Americans are very fond of lists, so let me do the American ‘thing.’ Here is a list of the top 10 reasons why President George W. Bush can be considered the most disastrous president in American history. This is actually a double list: the first five items concern foreign policy, while the second five address domestic policy.
Mr Bush began a war on false pretences. He lied to his people when he committed them to the war on Iraq, and on the basis of those lies he has undermined world security and committed his nation to the destruction of much of Iraq. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have died — and over 1,700 Americans — for no reason greater than that being a war-time president would improve his political stature. (Well, it is possible that his personal oil interests, and those of his friends, factored in. Maybe also an idiosyncratic personal grudge — on the order of, ‘I’m going to show up my father and get that damn Saddam Hussein and show I’m tougher than both Saddam and my Dad’ — that raises his Oedipal complex to international dimensions.)
That he lied about Iraq’s ‘threat’ to the United States is no unsubstantiated allegation. The recently revealed “Downing Street Memo