His bold efforts for freedom were met with scorn.
President Bush is moving reflectively through his final days in office, in various interviews putting the best face on a presidency that has garnered some of the worst presidential approval ratings from Americans in history.
Much depends on whether Iraq – currently enjoying a new and boisterous kind of democracy – courtesy of American arms and diplomacy, sinks back into a dysfunctional state, or encourages larger freedom throughout the Arab world.
Nor is there much praise for his oft-voiced calls for democracy among the presently unfree peoples around the world, a campaign that he made the centerpiece of his foreign policy. One might have hoped that such calls would receive widespread acclaim and action except from a few dictatorial rulers such as those of North Korea, Iran, China, Russia, Burma (Myanmar), Zimbabwe, and a few Arab states.