"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair Nothing beside remains round the decay of that colossal wreck; Boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away." This is how Shelley cut the presumptuous ruler down to size in his famous sonnet Ozymandias. He mocked the 'shattered visage' that lie next to two vast and trunkless legs of stone at his funerary temple. As former President Bush rides into the sunset, what will be left in the wake of his 'legacy' is the 'shattered visage' of a predominant part of the globe. Karl Marx once remarked that historical events occur twice, first as tragedy and the second time as farce. In crystalline hindsight, both his terms will be seen more as a tragedy than a farce. His legacy will be one of fear, insecurity, despair and impunity for the powerful. Often invoking Divine guidance and secure in the belief of having the Midas touch, everything he touched turned to dust and ashes. Scion of a political family, he polarised the world as never before. He initiated a phantom war which still rages on unabated, making the world insecure as never before. History is a cruel keeper of events and eras. It is inconceivable that he will get redemption by the same. On the economic front the American recession has arrived with a bang, dragging the whole world with itself into economic chaos. With a disastrous combination of massive military spending and tax cuts, he will bequeath to his unfortunate successor, inhumane wars and a record national debt if not more, of a minimum $10 trillion. Roman statesman and constitutionalist Cicero said way back in 110 BC: "The budget should be balanced; the treasury should be refilled; public debt should be reduced and the arrogance of public officials should be controlled." The catchword of making the homeland safe and secure seems all smoke and mirrors after seven years of a gruesome War On Terror. Today all agree that America and its allies are less safe, their enemies better trained, stronger and greater in number than ever before. The war's key geographic battlegrounds are unstable as never before. In Iraq and Afghanistan, thousands of American soldiers have been killed or wounded. On the other hand millions of Pakistan, Afghan and Iraqi soldiers and civilians have perished or have been maimed for life. More than 160,000 US troops fight to contain an insurgency and civil wars at a cost of over $500 million per day paid by none other than the beleaguered American taxpayer. American policies instead of eliminating extremism have fermented the same world over. In Iran, an Islamic regime remains firmly in power, defiantly pursuing its rightful nuclear programme. Hamas is a political force to be reckoned with while the US backed President Mahmoud Abbas remains at most a non-entity. Hezbollah is increasingly influential in Lebanon and immensely popular on the streets of the Middle East. Syria remains under an anti-American regime allied to Iran. Non-existent is a real peace process between Israel and any of its neighbours. North Korea defied all pressure to go nuclear while Russia just went ahead and invaded, a would be NATO member, Georgia. China, an economic and industrial powerhouse poses a direct challenge to the American might. It has increased its influence tremendously by engaging nations across the globe in mutually beneficial business ventures. Venezuela, with Bush's nemesis Hugo Chavez firmly entrenched at the helm of affairs, has launched its first satellite built with Chinese technology and launched from China. This was done in spite of Washington's calls to 'suspend the launch'. President Chavez called the satellite a 'construction of socialism' and a symbol of Latin American integration. He was accompanied by fellow leftist Bolivian President Evo Morales to monitor the launch and praise the operation as an example of 'socialist virtues'. Across the globe Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf, Japan's Shinzo Abe, Spain's Jose Maria Anzar, Britain's Tony Blair, Australia's John Howard, Germany's Gerhard Schrder (with Angela Merkel following in his footsteps) and America's John McCain were routed into political ignominy courtesy the Bush kiss of death. All these seemingly invincible gladiators, now political skeletons, adorn Mr Bush's kamikaze closet. Pakistan, fighting a war initially thrust upon it and later owned by the present 'helpless leadership' faces a security nightmare. The present regime treads the same self-destructive but well-beaten path of its ignominious predecessors. The army is pitted against our very own with missile strikes by US drones almost a daily occurrence now. The few initial 'foreign elements' have morphed into thousands of Pakhtuns up in arms against the state. Now yet again on alien advice, we are set to emulate the American strategy 'Awakening' that it initiated in the Iraqi Anbar province by arming Sunnis; mindless of the entirely diverse ethnic, religious and ground realities of our own tribal areas. The state is set to arm Lashkars, a recipe for escalation in violence, if not a civil war. On his recent trip to China President Zardari was seemingly more interested than anything else in buying AK47s that has been our scourge since the Russians invaded Afghanistan, for these Lashkars. Back to the two terms president who enjoyed total congressional control for years, he has abysmally few, if any, legislative or national accomplishments to his credit. Throughout his terms he was least interested in local and global issues. All his 'solutions' were designed to supplement the cause of his neo-con brigade. Where true leaders would have pushed a governing agenda of reform, he saw an opportunity to evade congressional oversight as he used his office to pummel dissent and the constitution. The most telling aspect of his terms will be a total destruction of public faith in the possibility of prudent governance by showing exactly how poorly a government can be run. After September 11, he presented himself as a 'War President' wrapping himself in the sacred robes of patriotism and national honour. In doing so, and playing on the created fears of the American public, he astutely took refuge in the Holy of Holies; the ultimate sanctuary of patriotism in our lives. He made criticism of his policies tantamount to being unpatriotic. War is an incompetent leader's Waterloo but also his best friend. Being a war president meant never having to take blame for his many debacles. The War Myth can be effective even when reality utterly undercuts it. Myths always appeal to transcendental values and sacred beliefs. Once we have entered the realm of myth, taboos and phantasmal demons replace logic and rational discourse. This magic too finally wore off with a multitude thinking on the lines of what Voltaire said in The Lisbon Disaster: "Come, ye philosophers, who cry, all is well and contemplate this ruin of a world." What could be more ironical than a two-term president losing the presidency alongwith Congressional and Senate majority. As the campaign reached a feverish pitch the most notable absentee was President Bush. He remained "out of sight" even voting by absentee ballot. Stephen Hess a veteran staffer and adviser to many former US presidents put it thus: "You can be sure had he been popular, he'd be out there." Bush's presidency weakened the US terribly as it lost its standing the world over. The damage will take generations to repair, if ever. All things good or bad are bound to end. Nothing in this universe is infinite save One. Life is all about how one is remembered once he dispenses with life or office. The Bush era and its disastrous fallout should be a lesson for President Obama. To quote poet and philosopher George Santayana, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it ." George Walker Bush could have done so much, not only for America but the whole world. It is rare that a US president enjoys the (unaccountable) power that he did. Ironically, he will not be remembered for his 'Bushism' but the Boothills he helped create in a world he callously treated as his OK Corral. He will be consigned to history as a mere footnote while his departure will be seen globally as a merciful, albeit belated, exit of the disaster master. The writer is a freelance columnist E-mail: miradnanaziz@gmail.com