Sunday, August 10, 2008
NEWSWEEK Cover: What Bush Got Right
In the August 18-25 double issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, August 11): "What Bush Got Right." Fareed Zakaria assesses what President Bush has done right in American foreign policy that his successors might choose to emulate or continue. Plus: the jingoism of Chinese who return to the homeland after living overseas; Fannie, Freddie and the subprime mess that might have been avoided; an interview with T. Boone Pickens; and videogame players no longer on the margins of the industry. (PRNewsFoto/NEWSWEEK) NEW YORK, NY UNITED STATES 08/10/2008
10 Aug 2008 16:05 Africa/Lagos
NEWSWEEK Cover: What Bush Got Right
Fareed Zakaria Looks At President Bush's Successes In American Foreign Policy; 'Blanket Criticism Of Bush Misses An Important Reality'
The Foreign Policies In Place Now 'Are More Sensible, Moderate And Mainstream. In Many Cases The Next President Should Follow Rather Than Reverse Them'
NEW YORK, Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- A broad shift in America's approach to the world is justified and overdue, writes Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria in the current issue. President Bush's basic conception of a "global War on Terror," to take but the most obvious example, "has been poorly thought-through, badly implemented, and has produced many unintended costs that will linger for years if not decades. But blanket criticism of Bush misses an important reality."
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080810/NYSU004 )
He writes that for "whatever reasons and through whichever path, the foreign policies in place now are more sensible, moderate and mainstream. In many cases the next president should follow rather then reverse them."
Zakaria examines the administration's successes in American foreign policy, while also noting its failures, in the August 18-25 cover "What Bush Did Right" (on newsstands Monday, August 11). "The administration that became the target of so much passion and anger -- from Democrats, Republicans, independents, foreigners, Martians, everyone -- is not quite the one in place today. The foreign policies that aroused the greatest anger and opposition were mostly pursued in Bush's first term: the invasion of Iraq, the rejection of treaties, diplomacy and multilateralism. In the last few years, many of these policies have been modified, abandoned or reversed. This has happened without acknowledgment -- which is partly what drives critics crazy -- and it's often been done surreptitiously. It doesn't reflect a change of heart so much as an admission of failure; the old way simply wasn't working."
He writes: "Consider as a symbol of this shift Bush's appointment of the World Bank's president. His first choice for the job was Paul Wolfowitz, an arch neoconservative with little background in economics. But by the time Wolfowitz was forced to resign and the post opened up again, Bush realized that he needed a less ideological choice, and he picked the highly qualified and respected Robert Zoellick. Where Dick Cheney was once the poster child for the administration, today policy is being run by Condoleezza Rice, Robert Gates, Stephen Hadley and Hank Paulson -- all pragmatists. Change has not extended to all areas, and in many places it's been too little, too late. But that there has been a shift to the center in many crucial areas of foreign policy is simply undeniable."
All this is not meant as a defense of George W. Bush, Zakaria writes. He offers this corrective "because we cannot go back to 2001. The next president will inherit the world as it is in 2009. He will have to examine the Bush administration's policies as they stand in January 2009 -- not as they were in 2001 or 2002 or 2003 -- and decide how to accept, modify and alter them. There was a U.S. president who came into office convinced that everything his predecessor had done was feckless, stupid, ill-informed and venal. He rejected and tried to reverse everything that he could, almost as an article of faith. Before he had even examined the policies carefully, he knew that they had to be changed. The base of his party was delighted by his clarity and fighting spirit.
"That president, of course, was George W. Bush. His decision to blindly repudiate anything associated with Bill Clinton is what got us into this mess in the first place. Let's hope that the next president, no matter how much he despises Bush, will take a careful look at his administration's policies, America's interests, and the world beyond and do the right thing for the country and its future."
(Read the cover story at www.Newsweek.com )
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