News

    President Bush Vows to Remain on Course in His Second Term 

    In his second inaugural address, President Bush pledged to spread freedom throughout the world.  American University professor and presidential historian Allan Lichtman said President Bush delivered one of the most ringing declarations in all of American history that suggested an aggressive, internationalist foreign policy to promote the ideals of liberty, freedom, and democracy around the world.  Even though President Bush said the ultimate goal was to combat tyranny, Professor Lichtman noted the absence of a reference to a specific enemy.

     

    Professor Lichtman, along with Political Science Professor Henry Nau of George Washington University, were guests on this week’s edition of Encounter hosted by Carol Castiel on VOA News Now.  Professor Lichtman added that the second inaugural was a “remarkable passage” for President Bush, who campaigned in 2000 on walking humbly around the world, whose first inaugural in 2001 focused on the domestic scene, and who for the past few years has been talking about the war on terror and the war in Iraq. 

     

    Professor Henry Nau agreed that the speech revealed a different George Bush than in 2001, but that President Bush in 2005 is fundamentally the same person he was in 2001.  Henry Nau said the purpose of the bold address was to lay out the themes of the previous administration and the coming administration. He said President Bush signaled that he is going to remain on course.  Professor Nau said the President was arguing both at home and abroad for people who yearn to be self-governing. 

     

    Professor Lichtman said that many argue that the war in Iraq, which is now folded into the war on terror, has not promoted democracy because it has undermined the legitimacy of the United States as the voice and beacon of democracy. He says many people around the world see U.S. intervention in Iraq as American imperialism.  Professor Lichtman also questioned whether Mr. Bush would support dissident movements in supposedly friendly states, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Egypt as well as in those that the President believes are unfriendly to the United States. 

     

    However, Professor Nau suggested that the United States is quietly pressuring autocratic or military regimes like Pakistan, which is also a key ally in the war on terror, to democratize.  He also said President Bush is interested in opening markets around the world and providing opportunities for countries like Pakistan and Egypt to become involved in the global economy.   Professor Nau added that the United States is pursuing policies in Iraq that have a real chance of providing for a “stable and modestly democratic government.” 

     

    But Allan Lichtman said that if a stable and modestly democratic Iraq does not emerge after the January 30th election, then President Bush would begin to lose public support.  And, in the same way that Vietnam was the Achilles heel of President Lyndon Johnson, Iraq could become the mortal weakness of this administration. Professor Henry Nau agreed with Professor Lichtman that success in Iraq is essential, but suggested that perhaps by the second year of this next term there will be an Iraqi government in place that is largely in charge of the continuing conflict there.  And he predicted that the United States would remain involved for the next 3 or 4 years but with diminishing numbers and perhaps with diminishing casualties. 

     

    For full audio of the program Encounter click here.

     

     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora