Tuesday, January 23, 2007

BBC: The World Rejects Bush's Policies

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

For a brief time following the events of 911 the United States enjoyed widespread support throughout the world. It took a George W. Bush to squander all that goodwill. It is not surprising that along with a Congressional majority and over 90 percent approval rating, the policies of George W. Bush are now almost universally reviled. A new world wide poll by the BBC suggests that US policies are almost universally rejected, denounced by majorities as high as two-thirds or more on most issues and much higher on still others.

Bush may have enjoyed a longer honeymoon with the rest of the world had he not insisted upon waging a war of aggression against Iraq, a nation having nothing whatsoever to do with 911, a nation about which Bush lied repeatedly in order to wage his war. Bush's numbers have gone down as the war rages on and on without end and, increasingly without hope. The numbers prove that the world now views the US, under Bush, as a rogue nation.

Getting reviews as bad as those for the Iraq war is the the issue of global warming. On this issue, often denied and derided be the GOP, Bush is proven as wrong, armed, and dangerous as he was on Iraq. Bush is now escalating his failed war on Iraq but failure on global warming carries with it even more catastrophic results.

Everyone can be wrong once in a while. And almost everyone is wrong from time to time with regard to issues less critical to the very survival of the planet. It takes a particularly evil genius to be so consistently wrong about almost everything and with such dire consequences.

Ironically and tragically, it is the magnitude of Bush's crimes that afford him a measure of invincibility. Those who are merely and routinely wrong about mundane issues are promptly sacked. Those, like Bush, who are monumentally wrong, are often promoted by a small and still powerful cabal who fear drowning in the wake of a sinking Titanic. Clinging tenaciously to power, this class of conscienceless courtiers will prop Bush up until all are swept away in the inevitable political Tsunami.

Such a political apocalypse was described by the great British screenwriter Sir Robert Bolt, whose script for A Man for All Seasons portrayed a frightened nobility in danger of being swamped in Wolsey's wake. As the execution of Sir Thomas More proved: there is rarely a convenient escape for fence-sitters. As in a play by Ibsen, Shakespeare, or, indeed, Bolt himself, Bush set into motion a tragic dialectic with the words: "You are either with us or you are for the terrorists".

On every issue, however, the world has rejected Bush and his divisive policies. Is Bush so stupid that he would suggest that some two thirds of the world's population are terrorists?

It is most certainly a mistake to divide up the world into black and white, good and evil. Yet that is what Bush has done. Though he would not compromise when pressed against the wall, Bolt's portrayal of Thomas More is that of a man who would have avoided the "either/or", a man who would have preferred the life of the common man to that of the existential hero.

More: God made the angels to show Him splendor, as He made animals for innocence and plants for their simplicity. But Man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind. If He suffers us to come to such a case that there is no escaping, then we may stand to our tackle as best we can, and, yes, Meg, then we can clamor like champions, if we have the spittle for it. But it's God's part, not our own, to bring ourselves to such a pass. Our natural business lies in escaping.

-A Man for All Seasons, Screenplay by Robert Bolt