Essay:George W. Bush: An outsider's view
The Bush Era is over. His legacy is mediocre at best, disastrous at worst. And the consequences of his management extend globally. The United States (or America) is the empire of our time, just as Rome was in ancient times or Great Britain was in the 19th century. For those who live in smaller, Third World countries, our role is limited to observe, and as members of the OAS and the UN, to vote on some questions. That vote, of course, is subjected to our dependence on the rich countries.
Personally, I always saw Bush as a puppet, with Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and others, as puppeteers. The recent film by Oliver Stone, "W.", reflects that very clearly. You may say that an Oliver Stone film is not the best example, but unlike "JFK" and "Nixon", "W." is not speculative. Roger Ebert points out that "Everything in it, including the scenes behind closed doors, is now pretty much familiar from tell-all books by former Bush aides." The guy has no talent, yet he was elected for the most important office in the world —twice.
Days before he left office Bush reviewed his tenure, and his conclusion was... positive. Many of us watched with perplexity as he justified himself, even when he leaves behind an overwhelming economic crisis, two wars (unfinished and unfounded), a "war on terror", and deeper social inequalities. He leaves the United States' international reputation severely undermined. He was unable to deal with the effects of Hurricane Katrina. He violated human rights and international law many times. The shoe incident in Iraq was not only an act of anger, it was also an act of impotence.
One must admire the American people. They endured W as they endured Reagan, and many other tragedies. The sad conclusion is that Bush and his puppeteers have caused great damage to their country, as they did to the rest of the world.