Skip to comments.Despite flaws, George W Bush is a loyal friend
Posted on 06/15/2008 8:21:24 PM PDT by nuconvert
Despite flaws, George W Bush is a loyal friend
When President Bush began his valedictory tour of Europe, we commented that he would be received correctly rather than warmly.
Still, it would be churlish not to bid him welcome in his final presidential visit to London. He might not have been the easiest of allies, but an ally he has been.
Anyone could compile a list of grievances: the steel tariff, the budget deficit, the reluctance to negotiate reciprocity in the US-UK extradition agreement, the calamities that befell Iraq after the invasion, the deaths of British servicemen in friendly fire episodes. But, whatever his failings, Mr Bush was never disloyal or ungrateful.
In the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, a shaken president declared: "America has no truer friend than Great Britain." This was a break with the traditional State Department formulae that let Canada, Israel, Mexico and Germany feel equally valued.
But, in his moment of need, Mr Bush had no patience for such niceties, adding: "America has no finer ally than the United Kingdom."
A degree of logistical collaboration exists between the US and the UK on military and intelligence matters - even on nuclear technology - that is unparalleled between two sovereign states.
When Britain put particular requests before Mr Bush - on working with the UN, on the Israel-Palestine roadmap, on Northern Ireland - he complied eagerly. True, this newspaper disapproved of much of what Tony Blair was asking for, but this was hardly the president's fault.
There was a telling moment when Mr Bush last met the Queen just over a year ago. Having made a characteristic verbal slip, he turned towards her, his face carefully set in that leer he carries off so well.
Finding her unamused, he grinned to onlookers: "She gave me a look that only a mother could give a child."
At first glance, this might seem like gaucheness, even lèse-majesté.
But think about it for a few seconds and you will see what a beautiful compliment it is. To acknowledge Britain as his country's "mother" might be historically accurate, but it is by no means uncontentious in contemporary America.
Many US politicians like to pretend that their institutions are a happy multi-culti fusion, owing just as much to Cajuns, Native Americans and Guatemalan illegals as to the high-minded Englishmen and Ulstermen who drew up the constitution.
President Bush was saying something true and touching but - being the man he is - passing it off as a folksy joke.
A country, like a man, can have friends who are difficult. But sticking to them is the essence of friendship. For all his inadequacies, Mr Bush always did right by us. We wish him well in future.
"Telegraph view" is written by our team of leader writers and commentators. This team includes David Hughes, Philip Johnston, Simon Heffer, Janet Daley, Con Coughlin, Robert Colvile, Iain Martin, Damian Thompson and Alex Singleton.
It is so rare that the media acknowledges the masterful tactician that Bush is in regard to humor.
Of course it is the foreign press.
Despite flaws, the UK is a loyal friend.
Time will tell, though.
Our president has a GREAT sense of humor, I suspect her majesty does not.
If you had to put up with her progeny, would you have a sense of humor?
He hasn’t been at all loyal to the gun owners who put him in the presidency.
And the Russert led MSNBC/NBC has been the leader. Rush has recently said, NBC has been the worst. It will be interesting to hear what Rush says tomorrow.
“For all his inadequacies, Mr Bush always did right by us. We wish him well in future. “
“inadequacies”... I would not put it exactly that way, though I did disagree with the President on some things, especially spending. I think history will be kind to GWB.
What a nice column. Thanks so much for posting it. I’m really going to miss this President.
HokieMom: “Im really going to miss this President.”
Same here, especially with the two lesser men currently running for the office.
His loyal supporters that kept him office already feel he is a good president (even when we disagreed with him). Unfortunately, we don’t have the same feeling for his possible successor (as selected by the party and not the people).
“Having made a characteristic verbal slip, he turned towards her, his face carefully set in that leer he carries off so well.
Finding her unamused, he grinned to onlookers: “She gave me a look that only a mother could give a child.”
I agree with your “hear, hear” - wholeheartedly.
First of all, re: this article, yes, he does made (frequent) verbal slips (never will be the silver-tongued devil that BHO is) but he speaks sincerely, second, I don’t agree with the “leer” description - from the beginning, I always called it an unfortunate nervous smirk resembling “church lady” on SNL (which he’s gradually learned/been trained to ALMOST overcome), and third, I thought at the time that remark about the Queen was quite sweet, guileless and complimentary - I’m sure she took it that way as well (what mother wouldn’t, queen or not).
GW, for his mistakes and sometimes bad judgment, is a good man with a good heart - and his wife is a real class act. History will be MUCH kinder to him than the present.
And the Russert led MSNBC/NBC has been the leader.
I have to say this, and not just because TR died this weekend - I personally hate all on msnbc/nbc EXCEPT Tim. Not only was he a classy guy, but he was kind, fair and professional - he was one of those rare journalists who did really good, hard-hitting interviews AND didn’t impose his own views and opinions.
Nobody will accuse him of being wishy washy, which is the definition of leadership. George the Great will be judged well in the future. The Iraq war win will be his shining trophy.
Pray for W and Our Troops
IMHO, I think that historians will one day name GWB as one of our greatest presidents.
Yup. Case in point, during the 2004 RNC nominations, Arnold Schwarzenegger acknowledged that Nixon was his hero...NIXON??
When Arnold first came to the States, he saw 2 nominees making their speeches. The Democrat, Arnold said: “I’m trying to escape from socialism (Austria), now this??”
Then came NIXON’s speech, and after hearing Nixon’s speech, Arnold became a capitalist.
One day, some youngster will bypass the liberal media assassination of Bush and read with intelligence what he has done for the world and Iraq.
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