A recent Pew Research Centre poll found that one word Americans used to describe President Bush was "incompetent." But the word fails to convey the condemnation warranted by the last eight years. There are several words that are more apt, such as 'betrayal'. Consider the administration's handling of the California energy crisis. Two months into the administration and at the height of crisis, it learned that the soaring prices were caused by market manipulation; a potential setback for Cheney's energy task force whose recommendations would have included California-style electricity deregulation. Forced to choose between mitigating what would ultimately be a $45 billion loss to Californians, or serving Enron and other cronies, VP Cheney chose to serve the cronies and ordered that this information be sealed. Even worse is that the administration continued to blame the crisis on California's environmental regulations. Bush administration made the same choice time and again as government became something for cronies to feed on, while nothing was provided for the benefit of the people. President Bush weakened or abandoned industry regulations, while opening the state trough for corporate looting; doubling the amount spent on government contracts to $412 billion and tripling the amount spent on no-bid or limited competition contracts. This resulted in over $1 trillion in contracts marked by significant fraud, waste or abuse. What about $8.8 billion in cash that simply disappeared in Iraq? The notorious Halliburton received over $130 billion in contracts under Bush and overcharged the government $100 million for a single day's work. Just as significant was Bush's betrayal of the public trust and subversion of the democratic process by consistently concealing information and misleading or outright lying to the American people. This was especially true for Iraq where one study identified "935" pre-war false statements made to gain support for an unnecessary war that diverted resources from fight against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan that seriously damaged United States global standing. Bush also betrayed his oath of office to uphold the constitution. The conservative CATO Institute characterises Bush's record as "overwhelmingly one of contempt for constitutional limitations, as Americans were subjected to indefinite detention and wiretaps, while the White House assumed imperial powers through signing statements that the president could even, disregard acts of the Congress." The first president that Dick Cheney served took office assuring the nation that "our long national nightmare is over." With about 35,000 soldiers killed or wounded in Iraq or the deaths that might have been prevented had Bush responded to the warnings on 9/11 and launching of an unending War On Terror in Afghanistan. It is not the end of the nightmare, as was predicted by Cheney, the trauma of Iraq and Afghanistan is still haunting the Americans. The same statement would be just as fitting and welcome on January 20, when the incompetence, betrayal, catastrophe and nightmare that were Bush administration come to an end. Bush will end his presidency in retreat, forced to compromise on several fronts. Free-market economy has given way to massive government bailouts, and an aggressive, assertive and unilateral foreign policy has resulted in polarisation rather than peaceful co-existence. Soon after the 9/11 attacks he declared that as commander-in-chief, he had the inherent power to act boldly in the nation's defence, regardless of whether Congress or the courts agreed. This claim has been much ridiculed. Bush's tenure has particularly been frustrating for civil libertarians, who had idealistically believed that when the government violated the constitution someone could go to the court and challenge its actions. But, it's not clear that this truism still stands. Whenever a historical review is made, certain years attract attention because of the decisive events with which they are associated. The years of 1914, 1929, 1933, 1939, 1956 and 1989 are some that strike, and the year 2008 is ordained to join this group. This was the year when the supposedly impossible happened. The US corporate system underwent a financial breakdown that now threatens to repeat, or even eclipse what commenced in 1929. The figures speak for themselves. The US government alone is committed to provide more than $8 trillion to sustain the financial mayhem. In a desperate bid to prevent a financial meltdown, interest rates charged by central banks around the world have been cut to record lows; in the case of the US to near zero. A recent report from the Levy Economics Institute reveals that the prospects for the US, the heart of the global economy, have become uniquely dreadful, if not frightening. The political epitaph of the Bush regime would be written, and indeed has already been stamped by Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. The preemptive invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the disdain shown to the world at large, the breach of international law, the war crimes, the crimes against humanity, deployment of military hardware against civilian targets, the wanton destruction of infrastructures and the doling out of multi-billion dollars contracts to White House cronies. The decision to use weapons of mass destruction on civilian populace, the policy to use inhuman torture, the concentration camps or gulags are the visible manifestations of the evil that the Bush regime represented. Moreover, the political epitaph of the Bush regime has been written by its members. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and Himmler merge with the names of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice in the historical trash bin of worst type of predators. The best epitaph was written in the 17th century by Jean de La Bruyere, the French writer and moralist: "There is a report that Piso is dead; it's a big loss. He was an honest man who dreamed to live longer; he was intelligent, agreeable and courageous to be depended upon, generous and faithful." Add: "provided he is really dead." With Bush regime flushed into the sewer of political history, the peoples' of the world can once again pull together, hold hands and express their collective will for a multilateral New World Order that respects the collective desires of humanity and not a chosen few. The New World Order that bases its decisions on crisis management policies, which involve a broad spectrum of humanity and not just the proponents of warmongering lobbies. Yet finally, in 2009, the world at large can see and feel a new ray of hope that it expected at the turn of the millennium. The New World Order, which the people had wished for in 2000 was delayed by eight years by the murderous policies of a corporate clique that not only belied their cause but also proved once and for all that the corporate model is flawed and fatally so. If Obama really wants to seize the opportunity and reboot American image, he must convince the Muslim world that the US would renounce the preemptive wars against Muslim countries; will stop demonising them; will renounce the silly and misguided concept of 'Islamofascism'; will practice an equitable foreign policy and will not permit the slow-motion ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by Israel. If, it continues unabated, humanity is condemned to a hellish and a very dangerous period of history. With good will and justice to all, Obama can bridge the gaps created by the evil, selfish and inhuman policies pursued by George W Bush during the last eight years. The writer is a former inspector general of police