ith just weeks left to step down from the White House, US President George W. Bush is facing unexpected damages from America’s uneasy ex-enemies, Russia and China. While Russia dampened the President’s dreams of enjoying a military victory for his ally in the “new eastern Europe,” Georgia, China killed the joy of witnessing US monopoly in the worldís largest track and field game show.
Russia should be thankful to Georgia. If Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili had not dared to bomb South Ossetia, how could Russia have been able to make known the entire world that Russia has been risen from its own ashes. And Phoenix-like Russia is the nightmare American President George W. Bush has to carry back home when he leaves White House in September. Chinese muscle power comes only secondary.
The Bush administration ordered an inquiry into the game debacle of US athletes in Beijing Olympics. But nothing could be done against the military mileage that Russia has gained in Georgia. Adding to this, now the Russian parliament has passed a resolution recognising the independence of Georgiaís rebel regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It seems, instead of going out from Oval Office with his head held high, President Bush is doomed to hum a parting note with utmost desperation and weakness. Mr President finds it hard to find those happy days back on his final days in the White House.
No doubt, it was when Iran went on dillydallying with nuke plans; and resolution in Iraq and Afghanistan seemed far behind, that Bush has eyed the European soil for a war. When the attention of entire world was on the spectacular Beijing Olympics opening ceremony on Aug.8, Bush friend Saakashvili bombed the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia without any provocation. If not backed by America, Saakashvili would not have made such a hideous rashness to attack the Russian-backed Georgian province.
When the Georgian forces bombed Ossetia Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was away attending the opening ceremony of Olympics in Beijing, making it ample clear that Sakaashvili was carrying out a Bush plot. But quite contrary to the imagination of Bush, Georgia got worldwide condemnation for an uncalled for attack. The so-called greatest advocate of democracy, Bush came to the aid of Sakaashvili criticising the Russian military resistance that followed the Georgian bombing as ìinvasion.” But the global community, except a few Western countries, was not ready to accept that charge whole-heartedly. Most of them considered Russian offence as a natural resistance solely because the people of Ossetia, in a referendum accepted by the European Union, showed their willingness to rejoin Russia than staying with Georgia.
It should be remembered that these Western countries or European Union has never shown their intolerance at US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan where American-led forces are fighting with the citizens of the respective countries. But when they faced a sudden, but unexpected resistance from the post-Soviet country Russia, the West could not believe their eyes. And now they are asking Russia to stay back. There may not be much difference from what US did in Iraq and what Russia did in Georgia. Simply speaking, so long as US-backing countries are not willing to correct or criticise the US offence in other countries, they do not have the right to blame Russian offence in Georgia too. All this displeasure over Russia comes just because US loses the status of being the sole super power. They are not willing to accept that the world is no longer unipolar and someone has emerged to put a break on the American Trojan horse.
Unlike in the past, larger sections of the Western media did not dance for Bush in the Georgian conflict. Without taking sides the media has come with sharp criticism over Saakashvilliís blunder. Though the role of Washington is not discussed widely in media, Russia is not made responsible for the entire episode. The outcome, Bush has been left in lurch. However, like the US President, the world is still in doubt over the nature of war that happened in South Ossetia. The world is confused whether to term it as a war, invasion or resistance triggered by a possible US-Russia Cold War. History shows that Cold War existed between America and Soviet Union allies between 1940 and 1990’s culminated in the destruction of Soviet super power. If history repeats, the latest imbroglio in Georgian soil will also end in oneís destruction. Of whom and what- that will be known in the coming days. There is no doubt, American supremacy is challenged and world cannot be called unipolar.
That's why we see an impaired face of American president who is struggling to cover up the Georgian aggression as Russian invasion. “The world has watched with alarm as Russia invaded a sovereign neighbouring state and threatened a democratic government elected by its people.” This was the response of Bush to the short-lived war that happened in Georgia. But will he ever realise the gross mistake he has done to the entire humanity of keeping everyone under the threat of imaginary enemies and war? And that's what Mr President himself is doing in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Many a time the world has tried to warn him; like the parable kid who told the king that he is naked. But if the king himself is not ashamed of his nakedness, what can be done. Now Bush should be grateful to Georgia for giving an opportunity to see a war before leaving the White House. Bush knows itís not “full”-filled; just “half”-filled contentment of witnessing a war in some part of the world.
Now the biggest question remains. Is the world heading for a post-modern Cold War era? Everyone knows it depends on the next US President. Will he carry the legacy of Bush and put the world into a post-modern Cold war? But, whoever be the next US President, be it Democratic Obama or Republican McCain, his foreign policies will definitely be weighed upon by Russiaís unexpected power. From the very beginning of his presidential campaign Obama has made it clear that he will not be a war-monger president. This probably gives a hope and consolation that the new US president will not threaten the world with a make-believe war.
While Obama is getting ready to take the Oval Office in November, Bush now may be humming an elegy to himself. And it is very simple to sum up the second term of Bush as the 43rd president of America in Matthew Arnold’s ending stanza of his poem “Dover Beach:” “And we are here as on a darkling plain/Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,/Where ignorant armies clash by night.”