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He is the president who started two wars in the Middle East, the leader who turned a budget surplus into an economic recession and the man who left many children behind.

The 43rd President of the United States of America will be remembered by the world as Dubya, a foolish man who played a momentous role in redefining the way America has been perceived across the globe.

Despite his many efforts, George W. Bush’s legacy will not be a positive one.

He will not be the president remembered for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, PEPFAR, an admirable program started in 2003 that has medicated more than 2 million primarily African and Asian people against the disease in only five years.

He will not be the U.S. president who eradicated terror.

As he heads toward the end of his last term as president, Bush is expected to deliver speeches defending his policies throughout the past eight years and reminding the American people of the good things he has done.

I can’t remember many of them. Can you?

It would not be fair to say President Bush has done nothing to benefit the world or the American people. For example, the $15 billion that PEPFAR allocated to global aid has helped millions of people. But despite those helped, the Bush administration’s policies continue to hurt innocent lives throughout the globe.

CNN estimates that 4,207 American soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq. Another 89,544 to 97,762 Iraqi civilians have died, according to Some media outlets estimate the count in the 100,000s.

And where are the weapons of mass destruction to make it worth it?

Bush has fought the war on terror on many fronts. There are still lingering American military forces in Afghanistan. But Bush has not captured Osama Bin Laden “dead or alive” as he pledged to do in 2001.

At home in the States, the Bush administration’s missteps have had dire affects. Will the world forget the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe before it forgets Bush supported a program to tutor the children of prisoners?

Bush has said history will judge him.

But history will not be his only judge; many have found him to be an incompetent leader, a warmonger or a murderer. They will not judge him kindly.

He is a pitiable man, too. If he is at all human, he must have a heavy burden weighing on him.

According to a June 2008 article in The Times, a London-based newspaper, Bush “expressed regret at the bitter divisions over the war” and his rhetoric, with phrases like “bring them on,” referring to the war.

He also said he has found it painful “to put youngsters in harm’s way.”

“I have an obligation to comfort and console [the families] as best as I possibly can,” Bush said.

That should certainly be a priority, but his duty extends beyond military families, as well. Bush has the obligation to extend his apologies and explanations for his many failed policies to all of the American people. He has been concerned with leaving an impressive legacy through out his terms, to the extent that it has superseded his commitment to the American people and the world.

Instead of continuing to crave his now-lost legacy, Bush should focus the last month and a half of his presidency on that objective, the positive programs he has contributed to will eventually speak for themselves.

On Jan. 20, the day ASU classes resume for the spring semester, President-elect Barack Obama will be inaugurated. Let us hope his desire for a good legacy will not impede his desire to do what is best.

Indra hopes she has left a good legacy with her columns. She can be reached at

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