george w bush

Medical diplomacy is the kind of foreign policy tool that the world’s most powerful nation should embrace. [...] Nations such as the United States that have the financial and logistical ability to respond to these epidemics should accept their moral responsibility to do so. In the case of the United States, “America first” does not mean “America only.” Spending a tiny fraction of this country’s wealth to save lives should be done without a second thought.

While President George W. Bush openly declared his intention of confronting by force some several dozen nations who were considered hostile, President Barack Obama promised a different approach of using American soft power to re-write international relations and earn the goodwill of the World to the United States. However, he has used both soft power and hard power to attain the same objectives.

“The window for diplomacy is closed.” So said President George W. Bush as the U.S. prepared to launch military action in Iraq. Mr. Bush intended that statement as a message to Saddam Hussein that the U.S. was no longer willing to negotiate and that his immediate departure from power was the only option; but in light of history his metaphor was somewhat ironic. In the aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States missed a number of opportunities to repurpose the enormous outpouring of good will around the world into a focused and potent strategy of public diplomacy.

The 9/11 Commission charged by the U.S. Congress and president with investigating the “facts and circumstances relating to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001” and making recommendations for “how [to] avoid such tragedy” in the future had little to say about failures related to the nation’s diplomatic preparedness to combat ideological threats. In fact, the Commission’s conclusions about pre-9/11 diplomacy were summed up in its final report in one sentence:“The diplomatic efforts of the Department of State were largely ineffective.”

September 11, 2011

A history of American support for corrupt authoritarian regimes and disregard for human rights when those inconveniences stood in the way of American interests has alienated many from America and fanned the flames of Islamic extremism and terrorism.

Thirty years ago this month, the first cases of what was to become known as AIDS were diagnosed. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 25 million persons have died from AIDS. More than 60 million people have been infected, and in southern Africa alone there are 14 million children orphaned because of AIDS.

Say what you want about WikiLeaks - and I don't much like what it has done - it nevertheless would be useful for its founder, Julian Assange, to follow George W. Bush as he lopes around the country, promoting his new book, "Decision Points."

After five years of waiting, Omar Khadr was finally slated to go on trial in Guantánamo Bay this summer -- and then suddenly, the gears ground to a halt. The problem was not that Khadr was just 15 years old when, according to the charges, he threw a grenade in a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan and killed a U.S. soldier.