I just heard from a friend in Georgia whose young co-workers are being sent to the front line to battle the Russians. My friend prays for a settlement soon. He knows that his countrymen are no match against the Russian forces, and he also prays for U.S. and international support, the only real hope for the Georgians. But presently a U.S. president's words of protest mean nothing, and sadly, by association, our allies aren't much better off. So, with well over 1500 casualities, Russia continues to act with impunity, and why not? Who will stop Putin, and his minion, Dmitry Medvedev. No one. Not now.
Were we, instead, a power to be reckoned with, as we once were, we and our democratic allies, the UK and the EU, would have been able to bring the weight of a strong and impactful coalition to oppose Putin. If Americans could wake in the morning, and it was Al Gore who was just finishing the last few months of his term as President, Saddam Huessin would be a distant concern. Intelligence would've had time to discover the obvious, that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, and had no WMP's. And there would be no war in Iraq, and the Taliban would not be an issue. And maybe even the tribesmen in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, from lack of Al Qaeda support, would be joining their Afghani brothers in finally expelling Osama bin Laden and his remaining lieutenants.
Conjecture at this point, certainly, but with additional forces in Afghanistan, that whole region would have been more stable, allowing the U.S. along with a strengthened, and very real international coalition to deal with the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, and who knows--- maybe even Mr. Putin himself.
George W. Bush and his cronies not only damaged our credibility, but also severely weakened the international voice and power of democracy in the world, so much so that Putin, Mugabe, al-Bashir, the generals in Burma, and yes, Ahmadinejad, act with arrogant abandon.
President Bush is right, history will tell. But George Bush, after November, won't be listening. While the rest of the world, the U.S. and it's allies, and democracy itself, will be reeling from the decline of a vital superpower, George and Laura will likely be spending their days on their Crawford ranch, safe and oblivious in their bubble.