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February 6, 2011

George W. Bush as Pinochet?

Seal of the President of the United StatesImage via Wikipedia
Interesting news from Switzerland:

Former U.S. President George W. Bush has cancelled a visit to Switzerland, where he was to address a Jewish charity gala, due to the risk of legal action against him for alleged torture, rights groups said on Saturday.

Criminal complaints against Bush alleging torture have been lodged in Geneva, court officials say.

Quite interesting how for the first time in history a US president is risking the same faith of Pinochet (The Chilean dictator was arrested by the British Government in 1998 during a trip to London for medical treatment under charges of human right violations) and it is also a sign of how weakened the US influence on world affairs has become, few years ago the simple proposal of such an action would have been enough to start a diplomatic row against the U.S Government independently if the current administration belonged to the same party or not (after all the White House has always thought that if you create a precedent there is no telling when it could come back and bite you as well) , today not only we are not seeing any official diplomatic reaction to this indictment but also we have a former US president un-defiantly renouncing his trip.

Aside from the technical aspect of apprehending a former US President which is still under protection of the US Secret Service, the question arising in this story is how faded has the presidential figure become independently from the low popularity of a single president.

Not that Bush is the real deal here, most certainly he should have been facing some kind of judgment for his many failings as president, the real question is how weak is the current projection capacity of the american diplomacy in light of this and the Wikileaks affair? It appears quite a lot.
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