January 18, 2009

The Bush Legacy

Keith Olbermann, "Bush presidency - eight years in eight minutes," MSNBC, January 16, 2009

EDITORIAL: "Mr. Bush Exits: A legacy of grave errors and mismanagement but also of promoting just causes," Washington Post, January 18, 2009

David S. Broder, "The Call That Bush Didn't Make," Washington Post, January 18, 2009

[Between 2000 and 2008, the U.S. share of world product plunged from 31 percent to 23 percent, and is expected to fall to 21 percent by 2013 -- a decline of 32 percent in 13 years. China's share of world product over the same period will more than double to 9 percent.

Pape went back to the 19th century to correlate the rise of the great powers like Britain and the commensurate growth in their share of world product. He found the Bush decline had no precedent.

"America's relative decline since 2000 of some 30 percent represents a far greater loss of relative power in a shorter time than any power shift among European great powers roughly from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to World War II. It is one of the largest relative declines in modern history. Indeed, in size, it is clearly surpassed by only one other great-power decline, the unprecedented internal collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991."

With an economy still three times that of China, America continues to be the world's most powerful nation, fully capable of defending all of its vital interests. We can no longer, however, defend every ally to whom we made a commitment over the six decades since NATO was formed.--Patrick J. Buchanan, "The Long Retreat,", February 20, 2009]

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