President Bush has admitted to The Times that his gun-slinging rhetoric made the world believe that he was a “guy really anxious for war” in Iraq....
In an exclusive interview, he expressed regret at the bitter divisions over the war and said that he was troubled about how his country had been misunderstood. “I think that in retrospect I could have used a different tone, a different rhetoric.”
Phrases such as “bring them on” or “dead or alive”, he said, “indicated to people that I was, you know, not a man of peace”. He said that he found it very painful “to put youngsters in harm’s way”. He added: “I try to meet with as many of the families as I can. And I have an obligation to comfort and console as best as I possibly can. I also have an obligation to make sure that those lives were not lost in vain.”
Bush has it completely wrong. His warlike statements showed the world America's moral purpose. Along with his tax cuts they are the best thing he did in his eight years in office. Those who mistook Bush as a "guy really anxious for war" would have thought ill of him no matter what he said. Those people oppose any assertion of America's national self-interest.
This is another example of the worst side of George Bush: his lack of intelligence. He picked up on the American sense of life in response to 9/11 and made some good statements at that time -- but he never intellectually understood what he was doing. Now he misunderstands -- and misunderestimates -- himself.
Worse, he is going out as an appeaser and will do damage to American foreign policy through his ignorance.
...He said that his aim now was to leave his successor a legacy of international diplomacy for tackling Iran.
The unilateralism that marked his first White House term has been replaced by an enthusiasm for tough multilateralism. He said that his focus for his final six months in office was to secure agreement on issues such as establishing a Palestinian state and to “leave behind a series of structures that makes it easier for the next president”.
Sounds to me like a total collapse to whatever the liberal State Department wants.
Thus does eight years of the bumbling Bush administration end. It was a time of holding action, a prelude to something far worse to come.