In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful




[Shamim A Siddiqi, New York]


Since his reelection, President Bush has probably “realized” that his foreign policy in his first term was quite damaging to the interest and prestige of the USA and hence he must try his best now to win over the hearts of the world, especially that of the Europe that had mostly opposed his “unproductive” preemptive attack on Iraq on flimsy grounds. Mr. Putin of Russia was another dimension of his foreign policy to keep him under the “friendly fold” of America and that he does not become too “friendly” to the “axis of power.” With the above in view, last week President Bush made a highly motivated trip to Belgium, Germany and Slovakia where he planned to meet Mr. Putin of Russia in a very reconciliatory tone. It was in the wake of the week-long whirlwind earlier tour of Europe and Asia Minor of his Secretary of State, Dr. Rice, preparing ground for his visit.


However, it appears that both the highly publicized trips could not yield the desired results. Europe is not prepared as a whole to forget as yet its sidetracking by Bush during the Second Gulf War. Even his fast friend PM of UK, Tony Blair appears to be distancing himself as the elections of Britain are on his head and he is losing ground to the Conservative Party. His position is shaky and he may lose the forthcoming elections as it has happened in Spain in the post-Saddam era and the aftermath of the “conquest” of Iraq. President Bush could “hardly” muster support from the 25 members of the ECM just to the extent of training the future army of Iraq with a paltry budget of only about six hundred thousand dollars in comparison to America’s of commitment of 80 Billion in Iraq in the current financial year of 2005. They made no financial commitment at all. President Bush still has to go a long way to win over the hearts and minds of Europe. Most of European public are against Mr. Bush’s war on Iraq and human rights policies both at home and abroad. One could easily read the minds of the people from their huge throng outside the halls where President Bush was delivering his “sermons” with friendly gestures for a uniform foreign policy across Atlantic Ocean. His position in the eyes of Europe was more visible from different cartoons and banners that people were holding and displaying outside.


His encounter with President Putin of Russia was more realistic. He confirmed to maintain the democratic trends in Russia but it would be as per needs and urgencies of his country and not what is envisaged by President Bush.  He also categorically denied toeing down the lines of the USA in the case of Iran though on principle he agreed to work for the non-proliferation of nuclear technology to others. In defiance of the expressed desire of President Bush, Russia has signed today [Sunday] an agreement with Iran to build a nuclear reactor at Bushehr in Southern Iran, producing 1,000 megawatts of electricity with the only condition that all spent nuclear fuel will be returned back to Russia. This would be the first nuclear plant for Iran. President Bush could not stop it instead of various threats and intimidation to Iran from him and his ally, Israel.


It is not clear that how President Bush would mingle together his desire to introduce the “democratic” process in the Muslim world and, on the other hand, his “going” out of the way to appease the European countries to stand by him and support his policies of threat and “intimidation to Syria and Iran, while physically “occupying” many Muslim countries. He is forgetting that the world is fast coming out of the tutelage of mega-superpower to multi-superpower system in the wake of growing power of ECM, China, India and Latino America. The people sitting at the helm of our affairs have to realize that globalization of American values [that are in fact mostly Islamic values] cannot be spread and established in the community of nations with force, game of intimidation, policies of exploitation through multinational corporations, covert activities of state agencies but openly with love for mankind, service to humanity, equality and justice to all and malice to none. Through this open-hearted policy the USA has still a lot of potentials to win over the hearts and minds of the people of Europe, Asia, Africa  and  Latin America where murmuring against  American policies are fast growing out of proportion at an alarming speed.


The way President Bush could not force Iran to give up its nuclear program for peace, the manner he could not coerce South Korea so for to accept his terms and condition to give up its nuclear program; similarly, his efforts to intimidate Syria and Iran are falling apart. If Israel comes to his “help” it would be another Himalayan blunder as his entire peace efforts in the Middle East, democratization process in the Muslim world and enticing Europe to His side will fail. As a result, American forces will be bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq for a long time to come, creating only unrest in the minds of American people. In its wake only the USA will bear the surmounting burden of loan and inflating budget deficits at an accelerated pace.


President Bush has still to serve as president of this vast country for four years. If he does not mend his ways and manner of governing the affairs of this country in the manner envisaged above, he will destroy America’s hard earned prestige in a “foolish” way, leaving the American people only in an “illusion” of supremacy as the “greatest” power in history. Supremacy that comes through an ideology, peace and human approach lasts for centuries together [as in the case of Muslim civilization] but when it comes through force, high handedness, double-dealings and brutality it may last [as in the case of British, French and now the USA] for a few decades only and then withers away.   


Would President Bush prefer to take a lesson from history that has passed and from his own history-making efforts that are in full swing?



Shamim A Siddiqi

February 27, 2005