Bush lacks foreign policy credibility

On Wednesday, Republican presidential front-runner George W. Bush illustrated he is not qualified to be the leader of the United States. Bush was unable to answer a few simple questions about current international problem areas, adding to the long list of gaffes he has committed in the area of foreign policy.
In an interview on WHDH-TV in Boston, Bush was asked by the station’s political correspondent, Andy Hiller, to name the leaders of the nations of Chechnya, Taiwan, Pakistan and India. Bush was unable to name the leaders of Chechnya, Pakistan and India, and could only come up with part of the name of Taiwan’s president.
All four places are currently involved in situations that could endanger both the United States and humanity in the near future. Chechnya has been involved in a war of independence with Russia for the last few years, Taiwan is always in danger of being invaded by China, and Pakistan and India are the two countries most likely to participate in a nuclear war. All countries either possess nuclear weapons or are involved in a conflict with another country that possesses nuclear capabilities. Bush’s inability to even name the leaders of the countries indicates a serious deficit of knowledge.
This particular interview is not the first time Bush has demonstrated his lack of foreign-policy knowledge. Other errors include calling residents of Greece Grecians and being unable to come up with the correct term for residents of Kosovo, which is Kosovars. While some might suggest these are trivial errors, one of the most important details of foreign relations is conveying a respect for other cultures. A president who is unable to use the correct words is very likely to cause deep offense.
Further, when asked these questions, Bush has given the impression that he is not bothered by his lack of knowledge. When asked the name of the president of Chechnya, Bush responded flippantly saying, “No, can you?” Rather than indicating remorse over his lack of knowledge, he appeared totally unapologetic.
Of all aspects of a president, an ability to deal effectively with foreign leaders is the most important. The Constitution clearly delineates that foreign policy is the one area in which the president should have the most power. Domestic issues are mostly delegated to the House and Senate, but the Constitution gives the president the power to appoint ambassadors and gives the president a great amount of leeway in making policy, only putting formal treaties and actual declarations of war in the hands of Congress.
If elected president, George W. Bush would be the main representative of the United States to the world. Perhaps most disturbing is that Bush simply seems to be uninterested in foreign policy altogether. Even if he begins learn about international issues at this late date, it is clear Bush does not truly care about what goes on in the vast majority of the world. A true leader is one who is interested in what goes on outside his limited view, and realizes that what happens in other countries will ultimately affect what happens in the United States. Bush does not begin to meet this standard.