A Lesson Before Dying

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?

4 Responses to “A Lesson Before Dying”

  1. 1 Kedar

    President Bush’s influence on the G8 definitely isn’t what it was circa 2002 but I would say that he is still the man each of those leaders has been wooing. Tony Blair is about as worthless to the G8 as Eucharist is to Mitt Romney but Putin’s little concession to the US with regards to the missile shield shows that he is still willing to work with other leaders. Even though each of these leaders face an uphill battle domestically, I would hardly call them irrelevant.

    Nice alliteration.

  2. 2 James

    A lot of the international press I’ve encountered would indicate that the “[person] each of those leaders has been wooing” is Angela Merkel. Admittedly, this might just be because Merkel is the Chair of this year’s Conference. It’s funny how we disagree on which leaders are the most relevant, though. I would still say that Blair is a moral force on terrorism because of what happened at the 05 G8 in Scotland.

    I think that, over the next two or three years, Sarkozy is going to lead France into a position of regional and global leadership – and I think the G8 could be the perfect medium for this transition. France under the UMP – more than any other G8 member save Canada – is willing to use supra and supernational institutions to prove it’s worth. And that’s good.

    Also, the missile shield analysis isn’t G8 specific. Putin needs Bush and Merkel to continue his discriminatory Gazprom policies. All I’m saying is (1) Bush is going to be deservedly blamed for Iraq by every G8 5 leader for the rest of thier respective tenures, and (2) After this G8, Blair, Putin, and Barroso are going to be useless internationally.

  1. 1 Is It Too Late For The G8? at DailyWrit
  2. 2 I Hope These People Don’t Vote. at DailyWrit

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