What do other countries think of us? Here is an excerpt from an Athenian newspaper:
All of this changed with President George W. Bush. Suddenly all the reactionary, dark instincts of “Middle America” came to the fore. The arch-conservative evangelical Christians began to determine the superpower’s foreign policy. America the extrovert with its pop culture became frightened, wary, almost paranoid. September 11, which brought an outpouring of sympathy from the world, proved to be the start of an unbelievable and silly “crusade” with tragic results in Iraq. Osama could not have expected a better outcome, as Bush undertook al-Qaida’s recruitment campaign.
Everything indicates that the average American understands the dark path it entered seven years ago. The next president will have to turn to realpolitik. But Bush has caused irreparable damage. History will be merciless with him, because, for no reason, he set fire to the planet’s most crucial region, because he isolated America and because, in the end, he brought Osama bin Laden into every last hovel in the Islamic world. Who said history is not determined by personalities?