A Charge Kept: The Record of the Bush Presidency 2001 - 2009 by Marc A Thiessen

By Marc A Thiessen

""We have served the USA via essentially the most consequential sessions of our history...""

President George W. Bush, 2006 kingdom of the Union

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5 percent in 2007. In July 2008, members of the Colombian military infiltrated the FARC and rescued 15 hostages, including three Americans who had been held captive for more than five years. The government has established its presence for the first time in all municipalities and is delivering services to better the lives of the Colombian people. To support President Uribe and expand markets for American goods and services, in November 2006 the United States signed a free trade agreement with Colombia.

Much work remains, but an important change has taken place over the past eight years. When President Bush took office, denuclearization was viewed as an issue between the United States and North Korea. Today, it is seen as a challenge for which the United States, China, and the other nations in the region all share responsibility. 30 Foreign Policy The President’s decision to attend the Beijing Olympics in his final year in office made a strong impression on Chinese leaders. Yet ten months before the Olympics, President Bush also became the first American president to meet publicly with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Navy EP-3 aircraft was intercepted by a Chinese jet fighter in international airspace, had its nose cone sheared off and a propeller clipped by the Chinese aircraft, and was forced to make an emergency landing on the Chinese island of Hainan. The American crew was detained by Chinese authorities for 11 days before the new Administration secured their release and the eventual return of the American plane. The President’s handling of the EP-3 crisis showed the Chinese leadership that the new Administration would be tough in defending America’s national interests, but that it was also willing to negotiate to defuse disagreements.

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