Although I admire any American ex-president for all the power he wielded as the most powerful human being in the world at his tenure of office, I will never waste my hard earned bucks equivalent to 4 green fees to watch an ex-president talk, even I had to watch more than one of them in the flesh at one time. Yes, 200 bucks which is tantamount to 4 tee offs of my beloved weekend passion is too steep for me to waste. Luckily I was gifted a ticket by one of our business partners which I accepted without much hesitation 😉 With tickets as high as 2,500 bucks and people travelling from other parts of the world to view the once in a lifetime spectacle, my 200 ticket took me to the nose bleed section 🙂 . I required binoculars to reasonably view them on stage but the presence of a huge jumbotron video screen gave relief to those among us in the general admission section.

A Conversation with Presidents was more of a showbiz event than anything. George W. Bush and Bill Clinton simply gave the public a glimpse of their lives as ex-presidents, ribbed one another to make the audience laugh and there was not much substantive content one could take from the conversation that could appease peoples’ concerns about the crises and problems facing the world today. Case in point, there wasn’t a conversation about the economy at all.  Clinton spoke for some 20 minutes and Bush a little over 10 minutes and in the middle of the question and answer period I wanted to leave, only to find out that the place was almost sealed, security was tight because of a huge demonstration that was going on outside the venue.  The show started 30 minutes late and although I don’t watch too much of CSI, 😆 I figured that was the organizer’s strategy to offset any terrorist plans to sabotage the event.

If there was anything meaningful about the show, one of them was Clinton’s regret  of his inaction on the Rwanda crisis, resulting in thousands of deaths that could have been averted. Bush told him that he could have not done much even if he intended to because deploying 20,000 troops required weeks and weeks of logistical preparation. Clinton did say that he attempted to atone for his mistake by building hospitals and a musuem in Rwanda and engaging in humanitarian projects in the country. Bush was equally unapologetic of his decision on invading Iraq, referring to a conversation he had with the Japanese Prime Minister right after the 911 attack. He couldn’t believe he was receiving support from a country his very own father fought a few decades ago. The cost of freedom can be steep he said, but the results will be realized in the long term. Bush can say anything he wants but only history can vindicate his actions in Iraq.

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