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George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is the second man in the history of the United States to have followed in his father footsteps and become the President. Bush served two consecutive terms as President, starting with January 2001. He was born in 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut, but most of his childhood, he spent in Midland, and then his teenage years in Huston, Texas. George W. Bush was the first child born in George and Barbara Bush's family. At the time of his birth, his father was an undergraduate at Yale (Bush, A Charge to Keep, 15). George W. Bush enrolled at the same university where his father studied and received a BA in history there. Later, he graduated from Harvard, receiving a MBA at Harvard Business School, in 1975. Between his studies at Yale and Harvard, Bush activated as a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard (The White House).
After graduation, GW. Bush started a carrier in energy and oil business, married Laura Welch and settled in Midland, Texas. Being a fan of baseball, he also got involved in the purchase of the Texas Rangers Baseball team and became one of the managing partners, holding a small share. Beside business and sports management, G.W. Bush entered the political life, first as a candidate for the House of Representatives for the state of Texas, then as an active fundraiser for his father's political campaign and finally as adviser and speechwriter for the same purpose (Biography.com).
G.W. Bush started his own political carrier as governor of Texas in 1994 and also served a second term after having been reelected in 1998. After controversial very close polls results for the two presidential candidates, G.W. Bush and Al Gore, the former was finally declared winner of the 2000 presidential campaign by the U.S. Supreme Court, taking the oath of office in January 2001.
The opinions on Bush's presidential performance are divergent and the subject is up for debate between two polarized camps. His domestic as well as his foreign relations politics have strong advocates as well as vehement opponents. Acting like a realist and a "compassionate conservative," as he characterized his political view, his presidency was marked from an early start by what is known as one of the most frightening attacks of the U.S. In history: the terrorist attacks of 9/11 / 2001.
Bush and his administration immediately declared War on Terror and ordered the invasion of Afghanistan. After a series of unsuccessful diplomatic attempts to make Sadam Hussein admit Iraq was in possession of weapons of mass destruction and hand them over, the U.S. troops and those of the so called "coalition of the willing" invaded Iraq, suspecting that beside the possession of nuclear and biological weapons, the country offered shelter and support to terrorist organizations. When there was finally enough evidence that such accusations were unfounded, Bush still defended his decision with the claim that his country and its allies helped the Iraqi nation get rid of an authoritarian regime. This remains one of the most arguable statements Bush has ever made.
Another historic move of the forty third U.S. president of the United States was to take advantage of the majority the Republican Party held in both the House of Representatives and the Senate and advance a tax-cut bill that was finally passed with $136 billion corporate tax-cuts (MSNBC).
In the spirit of "compassionate conservatism," Bush initiated policy changes in the field of education. He initiated the program "No Child Left Behind," an education reform destined to offer equal opportunities to all children of school age, regardless of their financial situation. The program has raised some controversies regarding its effectiveness and implementing costs.
Another highly ethically and politically debatable decision in Bush's presidential carrier became the imprisonment of war prisoners, especially Taliban captured from Afghanistan, but also others that were suspected of terrorist related activities, at the permanent naval base at Guantanamo Bay. The administration was often accused of having encouraged and protected heavy violations of human rights through interrogation methods that could be classified as torture.
Among the less debatable decisions taken under Bush's administration was the U.S. support for the expansion of NATO. Consequently, the organization accepted as new members former communist countries from Central and Eastern Europe.
Bush also proposed the implementation of a humanitarian program to offer medical support to African and Caribbean countries fighting with the specter of AIDS/HIV. "With a budget of $15 billion over a five-year period, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) aimed to supply life-extending medications to 2 million victims of HIV / AIDS, to prevent 7 million new cases of the disease, and to provide care for 10 million AIDS sufferers and the orphaned children of AIDS victims" (http://www.biography.com/articles/George-W.-Bush-9232768?part=9)
On the other hand, the administration under Bush received a hard blow as a consequence to its unconvincing and inconsistent response to the devastating effects of hurricane Katrina. This was one of the errors that contributed to what during the second term of his office became a strong and constant eroding of Bush's popularity.
Two of the personalities who became members of the "Bush team" and his closest advisors, the former vice-president of the United States, Dick Cheney, his running mate in the presidential campaign and the former Secretary of State during his first term, Collin Powel, were often on opposing terms when it came to the main issues the team was confronted with. While Collin Powell suspected Cheney and his supporters of having formed a separate team inside the government aspiring to lead it, Dick Cheney considered Powell a man who was obsessed of its own success who "always had major reservations about what we were trying to do" (Cheney, quoted by Hamilton in Washington Post, 2004).
Dick Cheney's biographical notes from the official Site of the White House introduce him as a young man as quite the opposite of what G.W. Bush experienced as a student at Yale. Cheney, born in 1941 in Lincoln, Nebraska, won a scholarship at Yale University. He abandoned his studies at this University, his values coming in strong contradiction with the "Ivy League Intelligentsia" (The White House, http://whitehouse.georgewbush.org/administration/dick.asp). Or, according to different interpretations, his private life interfered too much with the academic life he was supposed to have and thus it came to an abrupt, premature end at Yale.
He finally graduated in Political Science in his home state Wyoming. Cheney excelled in school activities since his early childhood. He was a bright student, very good at sports and had leadership abilities. Cheney started his political carrier in Washington DC in 1969, under Richard Nixon's administration. Since then, he served president Gerald Ford, represented the state of Wyoming in the House of Representatives and became Defense Secretary under George HW Bush's presidency. Under Bush W. Bush, Cheney served as Vice-President of the United States and played an important role in the shaping of national energy policies and foreign policy in the Middle East (Bio.com, http://www.biography.com/articles/Dick-Cheney-9246063?part=1)
Collin Powell was born in 1937, to Jamaican immigrants, in Harlem. Powell found his calling in the military and followed a successful carrier in the army. He was injured in the Vietnam War and received numerous medals. Like Cheney, Powell started his work at the White House under Nixon's administration. He consequently served under the presidency of Jimmy Carter and Ronal Reagan, Geroge HW Bush and for a short period of time, under Bill Clinton. He was appointed Secretary of State during the first presidential term of George W. Bush. Although he sometimes had differences of opinions regarding the decision to start the war in Iraq, he remained loyal to Bush administration's efforts to gain domestic and international support for the invasion of Iraq (Academy of achievement, http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/pow0bio-1).
Although born in New Haven, Connecticut, George W. Bush is considered a true son of Texas. Midland, the place where he grew up from the age of two, marked his childhood and youth years. In his biography, GW Bush recalls the place as having a frontier like feeling to it: dusty, dry and windy.
Midland is the country seat of the Midland County, located in Western Texas. The city was founded around 1880, primarily because it was a passage point on several trails: the Chihuahua trail, the Emigrant Road to California and the Comanche War trail. In 1881, as the passing point on the railroad that linked Fort Worth to El Passo, Midland was established as a city. Its economic destiny was related to the huge reserves of oil that were discovered here and helped boost its economy.
The moment Bush took office for his first presidential term marked the beginning of a new millennium. GW Bush played a tremendously important role in both the U.S. domestic and foreign policy and thus influenced the destinies of hundreds of millions of people at home and abroad. NATO accepted new members from among those European countries that only a decade ago were on the other side of the…[continue]
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