Posted by: rbbadger | August 8, 2008

Bush in Korea, Bush in China

Well, it seems that Bush is now in China, having made brief visits to South Korea and the Kingdom of Thailand.  In living in South Korea, I feel a certain disconnectedness to happenings back in my home country.  I keep up on the news here, mostly because I’m interested in it and sometimes it happens to affect me, such as Roh Moo-hyun’s well meaning, but ultimately muddled attempt to reform the E-2 visa regulations.  (They have been revised at least three times since they were first released.)  Bush’s visit to the Cheong Wa Dae was brief and South Korea is happy that the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency has once again listed Dokdo as something belonging to Korean territory rather than undesignated sovereignity.   

We are now watching the end of a presidency.  Soon, the time-honoured procedures will be put in place with the inauguration of his successor.  I think we have a very strong chance of a Democratic President, the first since 2000.  I do not know what kind of president he’ll be and I’m actually not expecting much.

But if the truth be told, I look towards the future of my country with a great deal of trepidation.  It is clear that a major examination of our nation’s conscience is in order, but if the truth be told, most politicians are no more given to self-examination and altruism than are many of us. 

Bush did accomplish some things, but he will leave his successor with some major disasters to contend with, not to mention some programmes of dubious consitutionality to occupy the Supreme Court in the years ahead.  Iraq is a veritable Pandora’s Box which may never be shut in our lifetime.  He tried to be a great president, I think.  But the results have not borne the fruit he desired.  History, of course, has not even come close to rendering the final verdit on the Bush presidency and will not do so for quite some to come.

The late premier of China, Chou En-lai, was once asked what he thought of the French Revolution.  He quipped, “it’s too early to tell”.  Indeed, it is too early to tell about what will become of America and how it will be remembered in history.  Our country is still very young and in some ways, still gaining maturity.


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