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  • Bush at UN today

    UNITED NATIONS - President Bush (news - web sites) rejected calls from France and Germany for a swift transfer of power in Iraq (news - web sites) on Tuesday, urging allies to put aside bitter divisions over the U.S.-led war and help lead a massive reconstruction effort.

    French President Jacques Chirac challenged Bush by demanding a "realistic timetable" for granting sovereignty.

    In the first gathering of world leaders at the General Assembly since the United States toppled Saddam Hussein (news - web sites), Bush was unapologetic about the war and its chaotic aftermath and unyielding on U.S. terms for creating a democratic government.

    "This process must unfold according to the needs of Iraqis — neither hurried nor delayed by the wishes of other parties," Bush said, spurning demands of France and Germany in a replay of the acrimonious year-old debate over Iraq that has shaken old alliances.

    Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder listened to Bush speak in the vast hall where historic debates have echoed for more than a half century. Ahmad Chalabi, the president of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, took Iraq's seat.

    Before Chirac took his turn at the microphone, Bush left the chamber, followed by Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites). The French president upbraided the United States for having taken a go-it-alone approach in Iraq after the United Nations (news - web sites) failed to sanction the war.

    "In an open world," Chirac said, "no one can live in isolation, no one can act alone in the name of all, and no one can accept the anarchy of a society without rules." France has said it wants power handed over to the Iraqis in a matter of months — a position echoed by Schroeder on Tuesday.

    The debate reverberated from the U.N. and private meetings in New York to Capitol Hill and the presidential campaign trail.

    In Washington, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle said he thought Bush "lost an opportunity."

    "He came before the international community and he could have made the case for more troops, more resources," the South Dakota Democrat said. "He didn't do that. ... It was a missed opportunity and that's very disappointing."

    Sen. Chuck Hagel (news, bio, voting record), R-Neb., a member of the Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees, said he was encouraged by Bush's private meetings with world leaders, including Chirac on Tuesday and Schroeder scheduled on Wednesday. "If our alliances were damaged by the Iraq war, let the liberation of Iraq be the reason for repairing and strengthening those alliances," Hagel said.

    Bush and Chirac met face to face in the U.S. Mission near the U.N. after their speeches.

    Bush said if he was going to keep 140,000 troops in Iraq and spend $20 billion on reconstruction aid, there must be an "orderly" transfer of power, according to a White House readout of the talks.

    Chirac pledged the French "wouldn't stand in the way" of the U.N. resolution Bush seeks, and he said "France would like to help" in the process.

    Bush was very clear in telling Chirac "the premature transfer of sovereignty, which has been the French proposal, is just not in the cards," a senior administration official said.

    The administration also brushed aside a call from Chalabi for increased power for the 25-member Iraqi Governing Council, largely handpicked by U.S. authorities. The United States is not prepared to transfer sovereignty to 25 unelected people, the official said.

    Chirac told a news conference later that it was impossible to say whether it would take three, six or nine months to transfer sovereignty to the Iraqis. Nevertheless, he said France wants the process to begin immediately.

    In his speech, Bush spoke broadly about a need for global help and outlined a limited role for the United Nations in writing an Iraqi constitution, training civil servants and overseeing elections. The United States is trying to come up with a U.N. resolution paving the way for other countries to contribute money and troops for Iraq's reconstruction.

    Bush said, "Every young democracy needs the help of friends. Now the nation of Iraq needs and deserves our aid, and all nations of good will should step forward and provide that support."

    While the United States has not found any of the alleged weapons of mass destruction that were cited as justification for the war, Bush said the search continues. "We are now interviewing Iraqi citizens and analyzing records of the old regime, to reveal the full extent of its weapons programs and long campaign of deception."

    Bush was unbending about the U.S. decision to go to war. "Across the world, nations are more secure because an ally of terror has fallen," he said.

    Bush reiterated his belief that all nations must align themselves — either with terrorists or against them.

    "There is no neutral ground. All governments that support terror are complicit in a war against civilization," Bush told the General Assembly, adding that he believes history will judge favorably those nations that fight terror.

    Meeting with Spain's president, Jose Maria Aznar, Bush said, "We're both convinced, and strongly believe, that our goals in Iraq are the right goals, and we'll accomplish the goals."

    Beyond helping in Iraq and Afghanistan (news - web sites), Bush urged other nations to help stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction, to combat AIDS (news - web sites) and to stop slavery.

  • #2
    MAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNN. Why does G Dubz have to be such a frikken moron? I swear I almost wore my tshirt with his mug and the caption "International Terrorist" to the White House the other day. But I changed my mind after thinking about what a snipers bullet to the azz felt like.

    He is a facist bully. Plain and simple.
    Got percap?

    Comment


    • #3
      I had to watch his speech in my Public Speaking class. He made it look like the U.S. did all these good things and everybody else has done absolutely nothing. That the U.S. are the good guys and everybody else are the bad guys. It was really quite annoying. Of course, I'm very bias because I can't stand the guy. Anyway, our professor wanted us to pay attention to the audience when the TV crew would scan them. That right there was the most interesting part--a person sleeping, people doodling or talking, and the majority of the faces had a look of disgust. Basically we discussed on how George Bush has little or no respect in the UN, and how he failed to present a speech for his audience. (actually, his speech writers failed to prepare the speech for the audience).
      "Support Bacteria. It's the only culture some people have."

      "I can't sleep, the clowns will eat me."

      "Things are more like today than they ever have been."

      Comment


      • #4
        George Bush is so damn annoying. I am honoured to live in a country with the leader that we have. Granted, he talks weird and comes from the tiny northern town of Shawinigan. But by golly, I respect the doot.

        I saw on the news the other day that a group of Iraqis had just finished military training for the US army stationed over there. I damn near crapped my capri pants! WHO THE HELL DOES G DUBZ THINK HE IS!?!?!
        Got percap?

        Comment


        • #5
          You mean, you didn't know he's training the Iraqis in the U.S. army? :p Yeah, he said that in the speech yesterday. He said how the U.S. is training the Iraqis how to stand up to terrorists and to protect themselves. Um, protect themselves from the U.S.????
          "Support Bacteria. It's the only culture some people have."

          "I can't sleep, the clowns will eat me."

          "Things are more like today than they ever have been."

          Comment


          • #6
            If I remember correctly, Bush said something in his speech about how America has made the world a safer or more peaceful place (I forget which one he was suggesting). And I was thinking "Ha! I'm more afraid than ever. Here, now, we have an even BIGGER target on our heads, AND now we've pissed off many countries in the UN, so we're getting to be on our own." This is pathetic. Is he just delusional or what?

            Comment


            • #7
              He's in a completely different reality!!! Dayum, I'm moving to Canada or even France where the president actually listens to his people.
              "Support Bacteria. It's the only culture some people have."

              "I can't sleep, the clowns will eat me."

              "Things are more like today than they ever have been."

              Comment


              • #8
                I KNOW RIGHT! I don't feel safe living just 45 minutes from the border.

                I feel so sorry for the poor civilians in Iraq.
                Got percap?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Jibby, make room. We're moving in with you. :Chatter

                  Shoot, I don't know what I'll do if his azz gets re-elected. :Yell

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I just wish the U.S. citizens would impeach the dude
                    "Support Bacteria. It's the only culture some people have."

                    "I can't sleep, the clowns will eat me."

                    "Things are more like today than they ever have been."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I especially thought it was terribly rude that he left before he could hear the French president. That sounds so childish to me. He might as well have stayed there, plugged his fingers in his ears, and chanted "I don't hear you. I don't hear you."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A Vague Pitch Leaves Mostly Puzzlement

                        UNITED NATIONS (news - web sites), Sept. 23 -- In his speech today to the U.N. General Assembly, President Bush (news - web sites) tried to walk a fine line between defending a war deeply unpopular in much of the world and looking for help from reluctant countries to rebuild Iraq (news - web sites). The result left diplomats and lawmakers puzzled about his ultimate intentions.

                        Bush, in fact, sidestepped direct answers to many of the questions that have arisen since the administration said it would seek a Security Council resolution that would expand the United Nations' role in Iraq and call on countries to contribute more troops and money. How quickly would the United States grant sovereignty to the Iraqis? Would the administration grant any decision-making role to the United Nations in exchange for its imprimatur? Or does the administration simply want assistance without giving up much in return?

                        One reason for the vagueness is that U.S. diplomats have discovered in recent weeks that little help is likely to be forthcoming. Secretary General Kofi Annan (news - web sites), deeply disturbed by the bombing attacks on the U.N. mission in Baghdad, has urged a slow and careful review of the organization's role in Iraq, U.S. and U.N. officials say. The list of countries willing and able to provide troops appears to have dwindled, not increased, and even financially deep-pocketed countries such as Japan have indicated they would not be able to contribute much to the U.S. enterprise (news - web sites) in Iraq, U.S. officials said.

                        "There is a hell of a case of donor fatigue," a senior administration official said today. "A realistic appraisal [of what a new resolution would bring] is 'not much.' "

                        Bush's rhetorical maneuvering room was limited in other ways. Faced with the worst approval ratings of his presidency, Bush designed his speech to appeal to a domestic audience. But the president's conservative base, long skeptical of the United Nations, would not approve of an explicit acknowledgment of a broad U.N. role in Iraq. Bush limited his comments on potential U.N. aid to programs that bring broad bipartisan support, such as UNICEF (news - web sites) and the World Food Program.

                        In Bush's most direct plea for assistance, he declared, "Every young democracy needs the help of friends. Now the nation of Iraq needs and deserves our aid, and all nations of goodwill should step forward and provide that support."

                        Democrats on Capitol Hill quickly took note of Bush's unwillingness to offer a detailed plan for Iraq. "He came before the international community and he could have made the case for more troops, for more resources. He didn't do that," Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) said. "He hasn't presented a plan to the United Nations. He hasn't presented one to this country or to this Congress. It was a missed opportunity, and that's very disappointing."

                        In the view of many in attendance here, Iraq is largely a problem of Bush's making. The Security Council was deeply divided over whether to authorize military action against Iraq -- and Bush withdrew a proposed resolution before the war when it faced certain defeat. Many nations might have been willing to support a war if the administration had been willing to give U.N. weapons inspections a few more weeks, but the administration refused to alter its military timetable. The inability to find proscribed weapons after the war also hurt the administration's case.

                        Bush, in defending the war, argued, "Events during the past two years have set before us the clearest of divides: between those who seek order, and those who spread chaos; between those who work for peaceful change, and those who adopt the methods of gangsters."

                        But in two speeches that bracketed the president's address, Annan and French President Jacques Chirac suggested that it is the administration's doctrine of "preemption" -- the promise to strike against emerging threats -- that threatens to spread chaos across the globe. Both men bluntly said that the Bush administration is undermining the collective security arrangements that have governed the world since World War II.

                        "The United Nations has just weathered one of its most serious trials in its history: respect for the [U.N.] Charter, the use of force, were at the heart of the debate," Chirac said. "The war, which was started without the authorization of the Security Council, has shaken the multilateral system."

                        Annan said that reserving "the right to act unilaterally or in ad hoc coalitions . . . represents a fundamental challenge to the principles on which, however imperfectly, world peace and stability have rested for the last 58 years. My concern is that if it were to be adopted, it would set precedents that resulted in a proliferation of the unilateral and lawless use of force with or without justification."

                        The enthusiastic reaction to those speeches in the General Assembly hall, compared to the tepid, almost perfunctory applause for Bush's presentation, underscored the difficult task ahead for the administration as it tries to build support for the nascent Iraqi government.

                        By Glenn Kessler, Washington Post Staff Writer

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