ANKARA: Bush’s Victory, And A Nagging Question

Hurriyet, Turkey
Nov. 5, 2004

Bush’s Victory, And A Nagging Question
BYEGM: 11/5/2004

HURRIYET- When US President George W. Bush put the blame for the
September 11 attacks on distant countries and societies, he gained the
support of many conservatives. Many Americans saw Bush as a leader who
would protect them from terrorism. Thus, the Republicans scored a great
victory. Yet many other Americans and people in other parts of the
world thought that Bush’s violent policies would fail. We’ll see
whether Bush’s victory will make the US president and his hawks more
aggressive or make them see common sense. No doubt that Bush’s victory
is in no way good for the world. One cannot help but worry about
humanity when Bush is in office, because his policies can neither end
terrorism, nor lead to peace in the Middle East. Bush ruined everything
that his predecessor Bill Clinton did over eight years for a positive
US image internationally.

Even people who favor the war in Iraq accept that the US is in a
quagmire there. Over 1,100 American soldiers have been killed.
Americans have killed 100,000 Iraqi civilians. What was Bush’s
justification? `Saddam poses a threat to the US because Iraq has
weapons of mass destruction.’ These justifications proved wrong. What
will happen now? Iraq will become an even greater nightmare for the US.
What will the future of the region be if Bush leaves Iraq in such

Looking at the US elections from the Turkish angle, the situation is
clear: US policies about Turkey wouldn’t have changed much even if
Kerry had been elected. In fact Kerry’s policies on Cyprus and the
Armenian question weren’t clear, and this could have caused some
problems. Thus, in the short term, Bush’s victory is good for Turkey.
But in the long run, there’s no doubt that Bush’s violent policies will
also harm Turkey. In the future the US will have to leave Iraq in chaos
and this will cause trouble for Turkey and other countries in the
region. Whatever we say, the world will have to live with Bush for four
more years. The election is over, but this question still nags me.
Would Bush have won if Hillary Clinton had been the Democrats’
candidate instead of Kerry?