In a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-CA, used a recent report by the Council for a Livable World to highlight the good (yes, we found a few things), the bad, and the ugly of the Bush administration.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Bush Administration
House of Representatives
January 28, 2009
By Rep. Lynn Woolsey
“…Last week this Nation and the entire world turned a new page. Instead of a foreign policy based on preemptive strikes, military might and bullying, the United States, led by President Obama, will return to our national ideals of diplomacy and international cooperation. Like most Americans, I’m heartened by the prospect and look forward to the chance for peace and justice throughout our world. Besides, our policies have nowhere to go but up.
In a groundbreaking study, the Council for a Liveble World has outlined the good, the bad and the ugly of the past administration. Sadly, the list of the “goods” is much shorter than the “bads” and the “uglies.”
On the good list, the Bush administration did not resume nuclear testing and did not withdraw the U.S. signature from the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. Second, there was no war in Iran.
Sadly, Mr. Speaker, the foreign policy missteps of the past administration make a much longer list. Some of these wrong-headed policies may take years to fix. Some have seriously undermined the true ideals of America and its commitment to peace. The list goes on and on.
Here are some of the so-called “greatest hits” of the past 8 years. The administration refused to request congressional ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. The United States-India nuclear deal that undermined longstanding antiproliferation efforts was approved. The nuclear nonproliferation treaty was undermined by the administration’s walking back from key promises the United States made in 1995 and 2000. The war in Iraq still continues after 6 years. There were virtually no negotiations with Iran. There were 8 years of unilateralism. The military budget skyrocketed by 86 percent. The United States has failed to pay all its dues to the United Nations. In March 2008, the United States was $1.6 billion behind in its treaty obligations which could have a negative impact on key U.N. operations including jeopardizing the 19 U.N. peacekeeping missions around the world. Finally, Cold War-era weapons systems continue to be funded such as the F-22 Raptor, Virginia-class submarine and the V-22 Osprey. None of them have any purpose in the current security environment.
Now we can’t let the mistakes of the past get in the way of progress or hope for a more secure and peaceful world. I was very encouraged and inspired by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the Senate when she said that if she were confirmed, which she has been, the State Department will be firing on all cylinders to provide forward-looking, sustained diplomacy in every single part of the world.
Talk about a breath of fresh air.
‘Our incoming President Obama can count on me,’ she said. And I say he can count on me, as well, and countless Members of Congress to promote and advance a foreign policy founded on smart security, founded on diplomacy, and founded on cooperation.
The world is waiting with great hope and expectations. On January 20, it was the beginning of a change in Washington, and its results will be felt far beyond our borders.”