Professor Scott Lucas, the Director of the University of Birmingham's think tank Libertas, has slammed George Bush’s final State of the Union address as a defiance of reality.
Reacting to the President’s speech, Professor Lucas noted, “The intervention in Iraq has been a disaster. For this President to claim otherwise – to conclude his final State of the Union with ‘We met challenges and faced dangers and we can go forward with confidence’ – is more than audacity. It is is close to delusion.”
Professor Lucas recalls Bush’s 2007 State of the Union address in which the President demanded more from Iraq’s elected government with benchmarks on the division of oil resources, on the long-term stability of a national government, and the long-term improvement in Iraq’s security forces: “Only one of those benchmarks has been partially met. Even that success is debateable in terms of whether it will lead to reconciliation or whether it will end up alienating many former Baathist who are, these days, part of the insurgency.”
Bush’s tactic, according to Professor Lucas? It is to get to January 2009 and his departure from the White House. “He knows that he just needs to see out the rest of his Presidency, then when he goes, Iraq is someone else’s problem. And trust me, it will be someone else’s problem.” Professor Lucas noted the example of Fallujah, supposedly pacified by American forces, where there are still problems with running water and electricity. “It is a ghost town. According to residents, if there is no significant upturn in the next three months, there will be war again on those streets.”
Some critics have said that, in this State of the Union, Bush has offered very little means by which history can judge him. “Forget the judgement of history,” says Professor Lucas. “Let’s talk about the judgement of here and now. This President, who claims to be a defender of Americans and those living outside the US, has embarked upon a plan to remake the world by overthrowing Saddam Hussein. Doing so, he has wreaked not just one year, not five years, but decades of instability.”
Notes to Editors
The full podcast is available at http://www.libertas.bham.ac.uk/blogs/watchingamerica/index.htm
Further Media Information
Professor Scott Lucas is available for interview. Please contact Anna Mitchell in the Press Office on 0121 414 6029 / 07920 593946.