Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

Eight years that changed the world

Adelina Marini, November 4, 2008

Are eight years enough and for what? There's a great consensus in the world that eight years are completely enough for the achievement of total isolation of America, for the straining of relationship with even its staunchest allies and for the doing harm on so many important things that it will take much more than one presidential mandate to start reparation. Or if we could paraphrase the famous title - "Eight years that changed the World".

In his first speech for the state of the Union in January 2001 Bush-son formulated the character of his administration. He took out the terminology from the beginning of the 20th century about the axis of Evil which he said passed through Iran, North Korea and Syria. Beside this he said a new world order is needed. And yes, eight years later there is a new world order but the questions is if this is the order George W. Bush wanted? After eight relatively peaceful years of presidency of the Democrat Bill Clinton, the turning point necessary to start the new world order was reached. The 9/11 came. One of the most tragic events in American and world history not only because of the scale but because of the arguments. Because it became clear that the conventional wars and enemies were put to an end.

The name of Osama bin Laden came to surface, of "Al Qaeda" and the war on terror. Less than a month after the World trade centres strikes, the US started a military operation in Afghanistan. Washington had the support of almost the whole world. The main aim of the operation was the destruction of "Al Qaeda". But then it became clear that this terror organisation world on a cell basis and that is why America started little compact military operations in states, presumably shelters for "Al Qaeda". The financial system had been changed in a way that allowed freezing of bank accounts, used supposedly to finance terrorism. This didn't bring any success.

Then several ally intelligence services reported that Iraq beside developing its own nuclear programme, also supported "Al Qaeda". In March 2003 the war in Iraq started - the first media war. Media war because for the first time the US allowed journalists to travel together with the military. The expectations of the administration were that this would be a Couple-of-days-war. But still no luck and that is why the war continued to be mainly in the media. The first spectacle was the triumphal fall of the statue of Saddam Hussein in the square of his home town Tikrit. Then the noisy and spectacular arrest of Saddam Hussein with the humiliating check on his teeth to prove if that was really him. Next - a quick process and a death sentence. By the time it had already been clear that the evidence presented by secretary of State Colin Powell at the Security Council for a nuclear programme in Iraq were all too thin. But there was no turning back.

Fast forward to today: the US is stuck in Iraq with little perspectives for success, wrap up in Afghanistan. The average oil price per barrel in 2001, the first of George W. Bush presidency was $ 23. It is still too early to estimate how much it would be for 2008, in the end of his presidency, but this summer there was a record level of $ 140 and now it is around $ 70 per barrel. Here we have to mention the financial crisis as a result of Bush-son government which had global impact.

The last eight years will remain in history with almost no attempts to solve the Middle East conflict, the independence of Kosovo, the rising tension between the US and Russia which reminded of the Cold war. We shouldn't miss the division within the EU, whose symbol became the ex secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld who divided Europe into new and old. George W. Bush like Ronald Reagan, who was also a Republican, revived the idea for a anti rocket shield. The military budget of the US for the last eight years doubled and now is almost $ 500 bn.

And more: devalue of the dollar. In another words the next American president, whoever his is, will have a very difficult task to return America in the world which it created on its own.