Book Review: Decision Points by George W Bush
Author: George W. Bush
Publisher: Random House
I have just finished reading George Bush's new book: Decision Points. Prior to reading the book, I was essentially an anti-Bush. After reading the book, I have come to know the mind of the man who nearly presided over the collapse of American economy and that of the world and also fought two wars: one popular-Afghanistan and one unpopular-Iraq.
In Decision Point, George Bush talked about his faith, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, stem cell, and financial crisis among others. I found Bush as an 'intolerant person' when he described people as 'sinners' as if he had been given the messianic responsibility to save the world from the evils of sin and bring 'freedom' to people everywhere. I did not support his tax cut as it favoured the rich more than the poor and the middle class.. The issue of Iraq, he defended that his actions were fuelled by the toxic intelligence reports from the CIA and went on to say that even still, Saddam Hussein posed a threat to the stability in the Middle East.
Of course, I would be unfair to George Bush if I only assess him on Iraq and his delayed Katrina response. He came clean on his intervention: No Child Left Behind Act which sought to improve education system which was rushing children through the system without any measurable progress. The Lazarus Effect in Africa where he convinced Congress to give money to help fight HIV/AIDS [mother-to-child transmission], malaria and tuberculosis. In his bid to make democracy export in Africa and other fledgling democracies to look attractive, he instituted the Millennium Challenge Account. In addition, he was able to force Congress to give a billion dollar to help countries which had excelled on their democratic expedition. It is gratifying to note that Ghana benefited from the MCA to a tune of over five hundred million dollars.
In spite of my differences with him, he has become my Leader of the Decade [2000-2010] and that if there is any politician to dine with, it would be no other person than George W. Bush. I have come to love his tenacity especially when he said that he has been elected to lead and to follow the opinion polls. To me, that should be the hallmark of a leader. Whatever he was convinced about, he cared less about the opinion polls. Like what Rev Jesse Jackson said: a leader should be tough enough to fight; human enough to make a mistake; humble enough to admit them; tender enough to cry and resilient enough to admit them.' Where he made mistakes, he admitted them and in many of his crucial decisions like Iraq and the 'surge' he sought pieces of advice from both sides. A leader is supposed to take his followers to where they should be and not where they want to go. George Bush essentially did that. He had it as a duty to defend America against every attack either at home or abroad. He made point blank that America would not make any distinction between terrorist and the nation that harbours them. Though he was fundamentally against bailing the Wall Street, he did it against his will, fearing that the price of inaction would be cataclysmic such that the seismic effect would be more than the Great Depression.
This is a book that I will recommend to anyone with political ambitions or wants to know the mind of George Bush.
Appiah Kusi Adomako