George W. Bush, who served as US president between 2001 and 2009, is known for ordering the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as well as being one of the most popular and unpopular presidents in American history.
During his first meeting with Britain’s ambassador to the US in 1998, then-Texas Governor George W. Bush acknowledged his poor knowledge of global politics, declassified documents from The National Archives have revealed.
“A memo to the Foreign Office, copied to Number 10 and now seen by UK media outlets show how Sir Christopher Meyer sat down with Bush in February 1998, when he “admitted that, apart from Mexico, he did not know much about international affairs and that he would do well to broaden his experience”.
“His world view – as he is well aware – is largely limited to the Texan and Mexican horizons”, Meyer wrote at the time.
After the UK envoy urged Bush to visit Britain, he explained that his undertaking high-profile foreign travel ahead of gubernatorial elections could be damaging to him in Texas, according to the memo.
“The Texas electorate would not forgive him if he appeared to be taking his eye off the business of governing Texas”, Sir Christopher argued.
He suggested that Bush could have been regarded in the political salons of Washington as “by far the front runner” if he had mo-ved to seek the Republican Party’s presidential nomination at the time.
Meyer added that the February 1998 meeting confirmed his “first snap opinion of George W: Very personable and with a good self-deprecating sense of humour”.
Afghanistan, Iraq Invader
Bush is known for being among the most popular and unpopular presidents in US history. On the one hand, he received record approval ratings after he called for a war against terror following the 9/11 attacks, but on the other – his popularity nosedived to all-time lows during the 2007–2008 financial crisis.
Under the 43rd president, the US staged an invasion of Afghanistan, the first phase of America’s 20-year war in the Central Asian nation, and the beginning of Washington’s war on terror. The nation’s war there ended with the Taliban, which was ousted in late 2001, returning to power in Afghanistan in mid-August 2021 amid the US troop withdrawal from the country.
In 2003, Bush ordered an invasion of Iraq under the pretext of the Saddam Hussein regime allegedly possessing weapons of mass destruction, something that Washington never managed to prove. The invasion, which was followed by Hussein’s execution in late 2006, prompted a spike in terrorist activity in Iraq, eventually paving the way for the creation of Daesh. Right now, scores of US soldiers are still stationed in Iraq, working as advisers and trainers