In Europe, many think that President Bush is a tyrant who does not abide by the rules. In America, many would consider that to be an unfair characterization. However, Europeans are more on point with their criticisms of Bush than most Americans are willing to admit.

Bush is not like a Middle Eastern theocrat in the traditional way. He does not enact mass killings the way Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein did, or make Americans live in a military state. Yet, President Bush keeps important information from the American people, often endangering lives.

For example, the March 27 edition of The New York Times, states that in a memo revealing the content of a closed door meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair prior to the Iraq war, President Bush stated that he would invade Iraq even if the international inspectors did not find weapons of mass destruction or without a second resolution from the United Nations. Many conservatives argue that this information is not relevant, that the United States is already in the Iraq war, three years into it, in fact.

However, this illustrates how war hungry President Bush was leading up to the start of the Iraq war. In his famous State of the Union Address in 2003, President Bush stated that his main reason for going to war with Iraq was a terrorist threat. President Bush, like many Middle Eastern dictators, fooled his people to get exactly what he wanted – at the expense of his people. This president did not view the consequences of his actions because he did not care about what was going to happen.

President Bush wanted to invade Iraq. However, he was smart enough to know that his reasoning for going to war was shaky at best. He wanted to attain the second resolution from the United Nations, one that would justify the war to other countries.

It is not only in the way Bush operates his foreign policy that aligns him with dictators – it is his failure to comply with the Constitution at home. President Bush implemented a secret wire tapping program without the permission of Congress. While many would agree that President Bush was starting this program in “good faith” and only doing it for protection against terrorism, he should have enlisted the help of Congress. In fact, he was legally required to do so. In Congress, there was a mostly empty hearing on censuring Bush for this wiretapping program. The leading Congressman for an official censure, Senator Russell D. Feingold (D -Wis.) addressed Bush’s actions. He said, “We no longer have a constitutional system consisting of three co-equal branches of government; we have a monarchy.”

It is important to note that Feingold is considering a bid for the 2008 presidential race and therefore, these actions could be entirely political and a way for him to make his name in the news.

Yet, Feingold does showcase how Bush is like many Middle Eastern dictators by questioning his sense of accountability. With the Iraq war, or the wiretapping program, or even the massive debt that is weighing heavily on taxpayer’s shoulders, the President never has to justify his actions or even explain his decisions.

Bush may not act like the typical of a Middle Eastern dictator. On the other hand, he sure does rule the country like one.