Citing History, Bush Suggests His Policies Will One Day Be Vindicated

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Meet George W. Bush, time traveler.

He's in Poland in 1939 as Nazi tanks advance on Warsaw, then flying with his Navy-pilot father to battle imperial Japan. He's alongside Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, William McKinley on his deathbed and Franklin D. Roosevelt on D-Day. He lingers with Harry S. Truman, another U.S. president deeply unpopular in his time.

President Bush leaps forward as well, envisioning a distant future in which Iraq is a tranquil democracy, Palestinians live peaceably alongside Israelis and terrorism is a tactic of the past.

"Imagine if a president had stood before the first graduating class of this academy five decades ago and told the Cadet Wing that by the end of the 20th century, the Soviet Union would be no more, communism would stand discredited and the vast majority of the world's nations would be democracies," Bush urged graduates at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs nearly two weeks ago.

As the door begins to close on his tenure, Bush is increasingly drawing on selected events of the past to argue that history will vindicate him on Iraq, terrorism, trade and other controversial issues.

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