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Bush demeanor fuels dissent


Posted: 3/10/03

George Bush will never be like Bill Clinton. While this may be a good thing in some people's minds, a fusion of the two would ensure their talents wouldn't be wasted. Clinton never seemed focused -- he tried to do too much at the same time. However, even with all the scandals that plagued his presidency, his approval ratings were usually good because he could talk himself out of almost anything.

Bush, on the other hand, is in the exact opposite situation: He has made clear what he wants to accomplish during his presidency, however he lacks the proper communication skills to be taken seriously.

Because Bush Sr. fought a war with Saddam, I'm sure this is one reason why Bush Jr. wants to wage this war. However, I don't think it has nearly as much bearing as other factors. Is the oil critical? Of course, when you're fighting a country with one of the largest oil reserves in the world, you would be a fool not to eye the black gold. However, I still think the primary reason Bush is starting this war is because he wants to give Iraqis a chance to live in democracy.

Bush seems perplexed on why he hasn't gotten full international support. Saddam is clearly a nefarious leader who must be taken out of power. So, why isn't everyone standing behind Bush?

It's simple: Bush's naïve nature is causing him to burn bridges before the war even starts. His arguments on Iraq aren't wrong -- I think he has the right idea, but his approach couldn't have been more disastrous.

From the start, he has basically stated his intentions and why he's right. But an effective leader always makes sure other countries feel their opinions are being heard. Bush seemed to close the door on negotiations from the start, while world opinions fell on deaf ears.

He made several speeches criticizing the United Nations for not standing up and facing the issues. For a while, some leaders felt the United States actually cared about international opinions. However, Bush ruined that when he stated that he would disarm Saddam regardless of U. N. opinion.

This blustering tone shed an incredibly bad image on America. The world seems to be against us, and some countries are taking cheap shots.

France hasn't held back its U.S. criticism about the war. This is the same country which surrendered to Hitler after a mere 44 days, and we sent thousands of our soldiers to liberate France. We didn't even make fun of them after the war, offering them (out of pity) a spot on the U.N. Security Council.

What have we gotten back from them? Nothing but criticism. It's a sad day when our president puts us in a situation where the French patronize us and the rest of the world actually listens.

Another critical error was Bush's notion that countries would support us as a favor. After all, we have sent our troops and money to numerous countries which wouldn't be doing as well without U.S. intervention. However, he has clearly been burnt by many of these countries, which have made it obvious they don't believe they owe us anything. One of the most embarrassing examples of this is Turkey. The world watched as we made fools of ourselves by offering Turkey more and more money to house U.S. troops in their country.

Bush is in a dilemma: He doesn't want to back down from his aggressive stance because he fears he will look weak and vulnerable. He also doesn't want to delay action against Iraq, but he can't continue to proceed this way if he wants international support.

I feel badly for President Bush because I do support the war with Iraq, and I can see why he's so anxious to start. However, he has moved too quickly and will have to pay the price. Instead of swallowing his pride and allowing a longer time table, Bush decided to continue with his own terms. In the process, he destroyed diplomatic relations.

Sadly, Bush probably thinks it's better this way. In his eyes, it's a great way to see who is loyal, and Bush will make sure he screws over anyone who doesn't side with him in the future. Maybe we will never need the French, but it doesn't hurt to have friends. I can't remember a time when we've appeared so desperate in the international forum.

We're still the giant that towers above everyone else. But thanks to Bush's blundering ways, the world is slowly seeing a less intimidating force.

Vijay Ramanavarapu is a sophomore in business. He can be reached for comment at vijay008@yahoo.com.
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