Peder with a D

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Posts Tagged ‘george w. bush’

What the Obama presidency represents to an expat

Posted by Peder on 25 January 2009

Pragmatism

Pragmatism a la 2004

I was 20 and in Germany during the 2000 presidential election. The night of November 7th, I sat up in my apartment until 4:00 am wondering what was going on with the numbers from Florida. By the time I returned from Europe, George W. Bush had been sworn in as the 43rd POTUS. During his first term I traveled to or lived in eight other nations, and as time wore on the questions about my President became more and more difficult. He was viewed as arrogant and ignorant — a horrible combination in leadership — and his unilateral approach to foreign policy was not well-received abroad, especially in its stark contrast to the approach of the previous administration. Suffice to say, George W. Bush made it more difficult to be an American overseas.

This morning I read an opinion article posted from an American living in Indonesia. Feel free to read the full text here, but I just wanted to republish an excerpt:

“A headline in one [Indonesian] paper summed it up: Welcome Back to the World, America. From Americans living overseas, this is the sentiment I most often hear. We’re not expecting miracles, but to have our leading spokesman again as interested in the rest of the world as we are, and as interested as the rest of the world is in him — this is a source of hope. And yes, that’s a change.”

It continues …

“In America, the big hope is that Obama can take care of some of the pressing domestic misfortunes — job loss, foreclosures, financial oversight. For the rest of the world, the bigger hope is that America is opening its eyes again, seeing itself as a partner in a broader future. For that latter group, [inauguration day was] a chance to say, yes, we’re watching too, and we’re celebrating.”

Photo credit: 10092007309.jpg posted by Yamica

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Scott McClellan’s Book

Posted by Peder on 29 May 2008

In as much as I’ve been a critic of the Bush administration, this new book by former Press Secretary Scott McClellan feels mildly vindicating. I just listened to him on Countdown with Keith Olbermann giving a candid set of revelations about what he knew and when he knew it during his tenure with in the White House:

  • The President admitted that he authorized Scooter Libbey’s leaking of Valerie Plame’s name
  • Reported that the administration propagandized the rationale used to support military intervention in Iraq
  • Said the press did not perform its duty in scrutinizing said rationale
  • Admitted many people were “right” in their criticisms of Bush’s involvement in Iraq
McClellan\'s BookAmidst the many unfortunate realities this nation has lived in over the past 7+ years, I carry a small sense of hope that has been strengthened. In this age of media and transparency, enough information was shared that many people were accurately critical of the Iraq war. I see transparency increasing, powered by this online set of media, that it will be increasingly difficult for future leaders to hide vital information from the nation. We knew it all along, that Bush and his administration was lying to us. Here’s hoping we have the courage to speak up next time we see it.

I’m headed off to buy this book now in the hour I have before the Lost season finale!
Update: I never actually got that book.  As I was headed out the door a blast from the past was knocking on it and I didn’t get a chance to head out that evening.  Nonetheless I’d still like to read this account.  In the meantime I did get Angler, the descriptive narrative of the Cheney vice presidency.  Equally informative, if not a hell of a lot spookier, the Cheney book is.  Which is probably a good way to compare Cheney to Bush, Jr. in general …

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