Moens' book praises U.S. president

November 18, 2004, vol. 31, no. 6
By Marianne Meadahl



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The re-election of U.S. President George W. Bush and his plans to visit Canada soon couldn't be more timely for Alexander Moens. The SFU political science professor's new book, The Foreign Policy of George W. Bush: Values, Strategy and Loyalty, has just been published (Nov. 2004, Ashgate Publishing).

Moens calls Bush “a very substantive person, very knowledgeable and capable, with distinct ideas of what he wants to accomplish.” That includes wanting to renew a relationship with Canada, Moens believes. “He's successful at what he does and he needs to be taken completely seriously. As Canadians we need to deal with President Bush and his Republican party in a courteous, respectful manner - or we will suffer the consequences.”

Moen's book comes after almost four years of scrutinizing nearly everything written on Bush and his policies, “right up to the transcripts of the movie Farenheit 9/11,” and interviewing officials and staff members in the Pentagon, the White House, and the U.S. Department of State.

Moens says the book presents a frank assessment of Bush's background and values, yet a more sympathetic view than the plethora of “Bush bashing books” that have been published. He provides analysis of how Bush won the presidency the first time, how his administration was set up and how he started out as a domestic policy president.

“Given the recent election, people are being forced to re-evaluate their knowledge of who he is,” says Moens, the sole Canadian researcher to publish an analytical book on Bush. “What people know about him is probably one-third myth, one-third slander and the final third, fact.”

Besides shedding light on the man, Moens devotes a chapter to Bush's foreign policy before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and another to his war on terrorism.

He also provides an in-depth, 35,000 word chapter on Iraq and assesses Bush's administrative process as he deals with the country.

While in the final days of the U.S. election campaign many felt it was too close to call, Moens didn't think Bush would lose, after researching how he came from behind in previous elections, for governor in Texas in 1994 and 1999. “It was a Republican sweep, and a decisive victory,” says Moens, who anticipates Bush's foreign policy will, like Ronald Regan's in his second term, become more conciliatory. Canada appears high on the list. “The president's upcoming visit to Canada is really an opportunity for Canadians to stop thinking they're part of the Democratic party and realize we are neighbouring countries, and that our relationship with the U.S. should not be partisan,” says Moens.

Moens' new book is written for the general public and will be in bookstores by Nov. 30.

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