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Bush faces a skeptical world

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September 19, 2006

By NEDRA PICKLER

President Bush will try to convince skeptical world leaders to embrace his vision for the Middle East in a speech before the United Nations on Tuesday where he is calling on the world to "stand up for peace" in the face of violent extremism.


Bush’s challenge is to build international support to confront multiple problems in the region: unabated violence in Iraq, a stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, armed Hezbollah militants in Lebanon and Iran defiantly pursuing its nuclear program.

The Iranian issue was at the top of the agenda for Bush’s morning meeting with French President Jacques Chirac, who is balking at the U.S. drive to sanction Iran for defying U.N. Security Council demands that it freeze uranium enrichment.

Chirac proposed on Monday that the international community compromise by suspending the threat of sanctions if Tehran agrees to halt its uranium enrichment program and return to negotiations. The U.S. and other countries fear Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons, while Tehran insists its uranium enrichment program is to make fuel for nuclear power plants.

Besides Chirac, Bush also was meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa.

Bush’s speech was the last in a series on the war on terror, timed to surround last week’s fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks and to set the tone for the final weeks of the U.S. midterm elections.

Bush was allotted 15 minutes for his annual address to the general assembly, and White House aides said he planned to use the time to call on the world to support moderate governments and help build up weak democracies in Iraq and Lebanon, as wells as the Palestinian Authority.

With remarks aimed especially at people living in the Middle East, Bush was drawing a distinction between the moderate governments that want peace and extremists who want to spread terror and violence.

He was describing his vision for moderates to choose the future instead of the extremists, pointing out that the same principles are in the U.N. charter and its declaration of human rights, aides said.

He planned to describe how every nation in the civilized world has a stake in the region, but especially the Muslim countries.

"The world must stand up for peace," Bush said in remarks prepared for delivery.

Bush also planned to address the issue of Sudan, where three years of fighting in the African nation’s Darfur region has killed more than 200,000 people. The president was scheduled to announce that Andrew Natsios, the former head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, will become Bush’s special envoy for Sudan to help end the fighting.

Bush was speaking in the same cavernous room where four years and one week ago he made another plea for action in the Middle East. On that day, Bush said Saddam Hussein had stockpiles of deadly chemical and biological agents that the United Nations must confront.

He was wrong, but still forged ahead with war against Iraq without the support of many other nations. And he is still trying to rebuild credibility with the body, experts say.

"The sense outside of the U.S. is that the United States is responsible for many of the failures in Iraq, first by going in mostly alone and then by incompetent administration," said Jon Alterman, a Mideast expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

"The problem with the way he’s talked about democracy in the Middle East is not that people see it as undesirable," Alterman said, "it’s that people see it as naive. He needs to persuade cynical people that not only is he sincere, but it’s achievable, and here’s what they need to do to make it so."


3 Responses to Bush faces a skeptical world

  1. TRUTH 101

    September 19, 2006 at 3:30 pm

    IMO: BUSH has a “GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY” to sit down with Iran’s Leader and go “ONE ON ONE” for as long as it takes

    First, An effort like this would boost his approval rating IMO several more points and he and he alone could then see exactly what the deal is.

    Second, The fact that HE made the effort would short circuit any firebrand speech from Armadinajad in front of the UN body that the US is TOTALLY on their side of every issue and do not recognize anyone else and won’t meet with anyone they disagree with.

    As it is right now, Bush’s handlers are killing this opportunity by saying he is not the power anyway or doesn’t have both oars in the water or some other disparaging remark that FOX has been handing out so freely these last few days.

    BUSH thinking he is appearing resolute, determined, above the fray and strong is being badly served by not thinking or acting on his own which he has never done in the five years he’s been President anyway.

    PNAC tells him what to do and it’s just fine with him. They tell him he’s being a LEADER and blah blah blah and he loves and believes the compliments. He is so easily fooled by the real cabal of Criminal PNAC it’s ashame.

  2. Brother Tim

    September 19, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    The problem is: The rest of the world is more intelligent than 40% of America. They won’t bow down and accept his fantsies.

  3. Ted

    September 19, 2006 at 10:06 pm

    There are consequences to honoring your word and there are consequences to dishonoring your word. One of the consequences of dishonoring one’s word is a diminished listening in others for what one can be counted on. One of the consequences on honoring one’s word is that if one does this long enough one’s word becomes law in the universe. President Bush suffers as a result of the former consequence, dishonoring his word. Consequently, he may not have the fortitude to reinstate his integrity and just tell and face the truth in the future.

    For example Bush’s statements, in chronological order, were:

    “Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.”
    United Nations address, September 12, 2002

    “Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons.”
    “We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons — the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.”
    Radio address, October 5, 2002

    “The Iraqi regime . . . possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons.”
    “We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas.”
    “We’ve also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas. We’re concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVS for missions targeting the United States.”
    “The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists, a group he calls his “nuclear mujahideen” — his nuclear holy warriors. Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of its nuclear program in the past. Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.”
    Cincinnati, Ohio speech, October 7, 2002
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021007-8.html

    I expect the lying, spying, dying and destruction to continue.