I have not always been in lock step with the George W. Bush Administration foreign policy. However, two trips the President took this year were necessary corrections to black periods in recent American history.
The first trip was to Yalta in the Crimea. The President noted there that the free world agreed to seal the fate of Eastern Europe, giving these nations to Stalin to control. The Soviets were always paranoid about being attacked. That is why they wanted a buffer all around the main territory of the Soviet Union. At Yalta they got that. Our President all but asked for forgiveness for what we did and failed to do.
The Yalta Accord, as it sometimes is termed, facilitated the Soviets in their harsh dominance of Hungary and other Central European countries and helped extend that dominance for a period approaching two generations, forcing, among other things, trade with the Soviet Union and extensive use of Russian and the Cyrillic alphabet. Franklin D. Roosevelt is lauded these days for his having fought Hitler and tyranny. He is entitled to that. But how FDR could have said the absolute and principled things he said about liberty and the need to fight for good vs. evil, in those words, and then have turned over millions of people to the most ruthless dictator in modern times is beyond me. Hitler is reprehensible for having killed millions of Jews and directing genetic experiments with both Christian and Jews and toward the end killing anyone who vocally disagreed with the regime, Christian or Jew. Stalin killed tens of millions of his subjects. In Ukraine, "the bread basket of the Soviet Union," he killed many more millions, including farmers. These farmers did not want to go along with his collectivization program. In the other Soviet Republics and in Eastern Europe, Stalin and his successors killed more.
Bush at Yalta gave the most pro-freedom and pro-liberty speech ever uttered by an American President.
On the second trip, last week, Bush went to Hungary, where the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolt was observed. In late 1955 and 1956, the American Government, presumably with the tacit approval of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, encouraged the Hungarians to rise up against their Soviet captors. The Soviet Union was presenting all sorts of problems for America by then and supposedly Ike and Dulles wanted the Soviets to have problems of their own.