Rehabilitating George W Bush #1

Posted by Richard D North under Rehab for Bush on 5 November 2008

President Bush is getting a terrble press, which is always a good moment to offer an alternative picture. We will periodically post reminders that he wasn’t the presidential ogre the left likes to imagine. Here, we look at just how much of a unilateralist he was.

Edward Mortimer, an impeccable liberal and UN man, reminded his Financial Times readers that Bush was a quite a reliable UN man in the sense of paying more of the US’s promised dues than most and quite often pursuing shared goals with the organisation.

What’s more, Mortimer reminds us, President Bill Clinton (more of a hawk sometimes than the left likes to remember) was not especially in love with the UN and quite often was at odds with it.

Mortimer argues that President Obama may well be a multilateralist breath of fresh air. But he warns us not expect too much. Obama’s task is very difficult: the US “is an exceptional country”, and Bush is not as easy to surpass as might be supposed.

By the way, President Bush was also perhaps the President most interested and generous with development aid and help for HIV/AIDS. Go figure.

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