The glory of a great power has a propensity to diminish, if its leader loses the quintessential value that sets the direction of history, which according to Richard Nixon requires a great vision, one that inspires the leader and enables him to inspire the nation. People both love the great leader and hate him; they are seldom indifferent to him. On the contrary, Bush earned the reputation of being an obnoxious leader and consequently the most despised one, who rose to achieve the presidency quite surreptitiously and was practically shoed out; the most ignonimous end that any leader of USA has ever encountered. Jefferson and Lincoln stand high on the pedestal of history as great winners, who looked beyond the horizon to achieve what was achievable and did what was right and in the right manner. But Bush on the other hand failed on all counts. He has ruined USAs booming economy which former President Henry Clinton had so assiduously built. Leslie Gelb is rather unkind to Clintons great achievements by contending that his administration being fixated on domestic politics and overawed by the curative powers of globalisation - squandered American power. In fact, he achieved what led to the economic resilience and US citizens general plight was markedly improved. If there were provision for a president to occupy the White House for the third term, Clinton would have comfortably won the elections. Needless to say, globalisation would have woven the countries and promoted a paradigm of inter-existence, but it failed to do so, as it lacked the human face. It had latent imperialistic ambition to augment wealth for the rich nations and push the impoverished countries into the abyss of greater poverty and deprivations. The real US traditional democracy was not a party to such a de-humanised sensibility. What Gelb says about Bush is partially true: The Bush Administration blind to the limitations of military force and carried away by the idea of democratising heathens - plunged America into the deepest international hole ever? While Democrats have relatively favoured democracy, Republicans have favoured military dictators and obstructed the path of 'democracy. There are numerous examples where the Republicans manipulated 'regime change, as a foreign policy option. Besides Algeria, Turkey and Iran, in many other countries 'dictators were planted to serve the US interests. There was a perfectly genuine elected leader of Chile, against whom Henry Kissinger manipulated a coup to enthrone General Pinochet - a worst tyrant no less in magnitude than Saddam Hussein of Iraq. But who could be a greater victim than Pakistan? Furthermore, with respect to the non-proliferation issue, Pakistan is being hounded for acquiring this capability and Iran is being pressurised to abandon its peaceful nuclear programme, despite the firm assurance that it has no weapons-making programme. Moreover, Israel is itching to attack Iran in order to make it militarily weak so that it is pushed back by several decades, to re-emerge as a regional power. Then the War on Terror had altogether a different design than what was professed by the Republicans. The oil wealth of Iraq was the special target so that it could come under control of the oil barons of USA. Apart from some hidden wealth, perhaps uranium in Afghanistan, it had to be transformed into a US base to oversee the rising China and contain it. Besides, Russia, Iran and Central Asian rich energy reservoir are also very attractive targets. Nevertheless, the US 'military might has been harnessed for great economic bonanza that would go to force multiply US prosperity, besides using 'unipolarity as a means to consolidate its neo-imperialistic holdover the world. However, it is a fact that far from achieving the grandiose foreign policy fantasies, USA has regressed into the most deplorable period of its history. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have caused great humiliation to the mighty military power on the earth because of its ignominious defeat at their hands. The failures of US foreign policy as well as its image are the practioners of realpolitik, like Kissinger and the great exponent of imperialistic ethos to prevail, is George Kennen. Containment was the basic construct deemed necessary to promote USAs preponderance. According to him: The most serious fault in US foreign policy was a tendency to take a legalistic moralistic approach to politics. The Republicans, the neo-conservatives and a brand of Democrats like Truman and Acheson, follow more or less similar orientation. Will Obama be different? The rhetoric used during the elections was only an icing on the war-oriented-policy-cake baked by the neo-cons and the diehard Republicans. He promised change, but change is not in the offing. Obama is constrained to follow what he is directed covertly to accomplish. The great democracy of USA does not represent the will of its people, who want an end to war and their soldiers to come back from Iraq and Afghanistan. Ironically, he has conceded to send more troops to Afghanistan due to the powerful Zionist lobby, which will make hardly any difference. Afghanis inbuilt repulsion to foreign soldiers on its soil has a deep imprint on its trait and character. The history will definitely reassert itself. The writer is secretary general, FRIENDS.