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Goodbye - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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US President George Bush’s latest visit is called the farewell trip, which is an imperfect and incomplete description of a President described as a lame duck though comparing him to the “Titanic” is closer to the truth.

This President’s approval ratings have reached a low point that no other president had achieved before, including Richard Nixon during the “Watergate” scandal or Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky ordeal.

Bush comes today on a final tour of the Middle East, the region which sees his biggest failures. Here is the war in Iraq, which was built on flimsy excuses, leaving behind it columns of innocent victims, whether from the American occupation army or innocent Iraqis. Bush also failed to achieve his famous promise of establishing a Palestinian state, particularly in view of the continuing blatant Israeli attacks on the innocent Palestinians and the continued Israeli cancerous settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories in an insolent defiance of all international resolutions and the clear rights.

Bush is now demanding, in quite an unrealistic way, from the Gulf countries to try to “bring down” the prices of oil, though the “impact of the elections year” in the United States and the partisan support’s requirements and assumptions for such an approach cannot be ignored. But this demand cannot be viewed apart from the [price] inflation of all commodities and services in the world. Wheat, iron, cement, timber, paper, rice, and other commodities have reached unprecedented record levels. So why demand the exclusion of the oil commodity only and “strong” action to lower its price? Are not food commodities more important and is not better to try to lower their prices? The answer is of course yes. But the possibility of achieving this remains difficult in view of the changing and new economic situations in the world, though one should not ignore the fact that oil prices have been in a frenzied move upwards since Bush’s threats against Iran. The price of oil was $67 a barrel when the first negative utterance against Iran was made. Hence Bush contributed directly to the tension in the region and therefore increased the concerns of producers and those dealing with oil and all its derivatives.

Actually when looking closely at the reason for Bush’s visit to the region now, the aspect of his preparation for the post-presidency and preparing opportunities for promoting himself as a public speaker or promoter of giant investment companies, like those who had preceded him, cannot be ignored. But there is one direct question to be asked unashamedly: Who would hire him?!

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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