Current events indicate that Dubya's not so bad as described by Investor's Business Daily.
Democrats have hammered the Bush administration for supposedly losing allies and global standing. But a look at U.S. ties shows Bush to be a master diplomat who is strengthening U.S. relations all over.I just hope the next American President is so bad.
"The world owes President Bush a debt of gratitude in leading the world in our determination to root out terrorism," said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, a man whose recent elevation to office was supposed to denote a "cooling" of relations with the U.S. and a tilt toward Europe.
But Europe isn't really "cooling," either.
France is now led by a man elected as "le Americain." Like Brown, President Nicolas Sarkozy had nothing but good things to say about Bush.
"We spent hours discussing important issues, commercial, economic and others, and I would say that we have done so in a spirit of openness and trust and that is something I have been particularly struck by," Sarkozy said last November. "And when I say that the French people love the American people, that is the truth and nothing but the truth."
Where exactly is the animosity Bush's critics keep talking about?
In Italy, all we can find is another enthusiastically pro-Bush prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, who won high office this week in a landslide. "What I did counted in my relationship with Bush," he said this month in his campaign.
In Germany, led by conservative and U.S.-friendly Chancellor Angela Merkel, the sentiment has also gone pro-American, as it has in the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and Canada.
Outside of Western Europe, the reviews are even warmer because there's a focus not just on terror-fighting but standing up for democracy— as ties with Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Albania show.
"Albania enjoys friendly and cooperative bilateral relations with the U.S. Pro-U.S. sentiment is widespread among the population," the State Department's Web site reads.
In the case of the Czechs, it's about shared ideals: "Relations between the U.S. and the Czech Republic are excellent and reflect the common approach both have to the many challenges facing the world at present. The U.S. looks to the Czech Republic as a partner in issues ranging from Afghanistan to the Balkans, and seeks opportunities to continue to deepen this relationship," State says.
Across Africa, it's also about Bush's commitment to democracy and development. Tens of thousands of people greeted Bush in several countries this year, hailing him as their continent's great friend.
Meanwhile, IBD — along with nine Democratic Congress members — saw the same in Medellin, Colombia, where thousands of Colombians greeted Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in January.
That brings up another reason why Bush has succeeded: No president in U.S. history has signed as many free-trade deals as Bush, which has deepened our alliances well beyond trade.
Bush signed off on 10 free-trade agreements, many with Arab states vulnerable to terrorism such as Morocco, Jordan, and Persian Gulf state Bahrain — which is now a "major non-NATO ally."
Closer to home, check out what Bush's free-trade policy has done to regional ties: "Relations between the United States and Chile are better now than at any other time in history," State's site reads.
Bush has also boosted ties with strategic Asian countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan, Indonesia and Singapore, and broken new ground with some very big players globally, like Brazil and India, both of whose leaders have the most cordial of relations.
Who's left? Russia? China?
Even among them, Bush has shown surprising skill at keeping them talking, despite their backsliding on democracy.
So what was that again about Bush alienating the world?
Maybe the next time Democrats insist on their old canard about Bush being hated, they can get out a map and see who's left. Right now, they have no one, apart from a few anti-American dictators.
They might also ask themselves why. The answer is President Bush has done a terrific job bringing much of the world into our circle of friendship by fighting terror, building democracy and promoting free trade. Brown knows exactly what he's talking about.
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.