As the 33rd annual G8 summit comes to a close, a puzzling and perfectly perplexing power paradox seems to be arising.
It has become painfully obvious over the last several months that President Bush is not the only global leader who is becoming increasingly irrelevant. English Prime Minister Tony Blair, the senior member of the G8, will resign later this month. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s second term will expire in early 2008. European Commission President José Manuel Durão Barroso faces an uncertain future, as does Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. It thus seems that the only two G8 leaders who are not looking to shape their political legacy are Conference Chair Angela Merkel of Germany and newly inaugurated French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Both of these G8 G-uggernauts oppose open-ended extension of the war in Iraq.
The future of American involvement in Iraq remains uncertain, and largely hinges on the results of the 08 Presidential Election. However, assuming that Exchequer Secretary Gordon Browne assumes the Prime Ministership of England, it seems that there will be exactly zero supporters of the Iraq war among the G8 leaders at the 2009 conference. What, then, is the legacy of the Bush administration in the Middle East?