Just hours in advance of Bush's address to the international assembly, at the body's annual opening, Condi Rice spoke of the 'credibility' of the United Nations in regard to Iran. "The international community also has a credibility issue," she said, because Iran's refusal to suspend enrichment of uranium has not drawn the sanctions the U.S. has been demanding.
At the assembly, Bush met with France's president Chirac in an attempt to goad the leader into supporting some dramatic action against Iran. Chirac couldn't have been impressed with Bush's argument. Yesterday he called Iran "a great nation, an old culture, an old civilization," and declared that, "we can find solutions through dialog." It doesn't look like Bush will change his or any other countries' leader's minds about Iran, or anything else, for that matter. Like most nation's leaders, France's attitude toward the pleadings and admonitions of the U.S. has been shaped and corrupted by Bush's own lack of credibility on the full range of his responses to the 9-11 attacks.
Who is willing to follow Bush anywhere after he misled the body from their unity over the pursuit of those determined responsible for the attacks on the U.S. to accept his imperious grab of Iraq after he diverted from their unifying mission against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan? Who is left to believe Bush's admonitions that Iran's continued enrichment of uranium is in preparation for a nuclear weapon when offered no substantive evidence at all to support such claims? Who in the international body is left, willing to stand with the U.S., as Bush lashes out at Iran and Syria for 'interfering' in Rice's stated ambition for a 'New Middle East'; shaped and manipulated by the U.S. notion of democracy and nation-building, as demonstrated by Bush's invasions and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan?
The attacks of 9-11 was the first issue that Bush chose to highlight in his address to the world leaders as he wove his narrative of conflicts that he called part of a "great ideological struggle." He committed the bulk of his address to the 'people' of the countries in the Middle East as he outlined his 'freedom agenda.'
While allowing that the "democracies they build will reflect their own cultures and traditions," Bush went on to spell out his own ambitions for a world where, "extremists are marginalized by the peaceful majority." Middle East stability before his military muckraking and manipulations after 9-11 was a "mirage" to Bush; the region, "a breeding ground for extremism." He bragged about the absence of Saddam and the Taliban from their respective countries, reveled in the ceasefire in Lebanon, badgered Iran and Syria alike for their "support of terrorism", and cried croc tears about the tragedy in Darfur.
Bush attempted an appeal to the people of the region, asking them to reject "propaganda and conspiracy theories," and reject those who tell them they can "regain their dignity through violence." According to Bush, the people should just tolerate and condone his own brand of propaganda; laced with "conspiracies" involving unseen and unproven nuclear programs; unseen weapons of mass destruction; unproven terror-supporting conspiracies; as he encourages us to accept his own brand of violence that comes with cluster-bombing, killing fields laced with pernicious checkpoints, and premeditated collateral casualties in his support and prosecution of collective reprisals against civilian population centers.
"Freedom, by its nature, cannot be imposed, it must be chosen," Bush said in his speech to the U.N.. "America's made it's choice," he proclaimed.
Bush chose, and he assumes that the world should fall in line because he says so. Invading and occupying two sovereign nations is not an imposition to Bush; to him it's liberty and freedom, albeit at the point of American weapons. Cease-fires, like in Lebanon, are to be celebrated according to the president, but, only after carnage is allowed to run Bush's course with impunity. Purple ink-stained fingers represent democracy to Bush; ignorant of the reality of the un-democratic puppet regime that was born out of the sham elections held under U.S. occupation and control. Iran's 'liberty' is to be achieved through the regime-change offices of Elizabeth Cheney so that Iranians can "live in freedom."
The world has watched, and quietly slipped away from the U.S., as Bush's actions have made a lie of his stately words and revealed the reality of his global intention to dominate in his self-appointed role as the world's svengali. Nothing could be more "extremist" than the fostering of the tens of thousands of killings that have occurred behind his 'liberation' of Iraq from Saddam. Nothing could be more of a threat than his own blundering militarism, practiced and exercised by Bush, in every endeavor except the focus of the authorization to use military force that directed him to pursue the orchestrator of the 9-11 attacks, bin-Laden, and his accomplices.
Kofi Annan spoke in the opening about his "obstinate feeling of hope for the future." I share that hope. But, along with that hope, there must be a deep and earnest resolve to restrain our country's president from any more military misadventures based on his 'ideology' and doctrine of preemptive aggression against any and all that he alone decides threaten. We must also reign Bush's present war games and occupations in, so that we can be seen by the other countries of the world as a partner in their development and not the destabilizing influence that his imperialism and conquest has demonstrated.
Our country should never again allow our leaders to encourage the escalation of violence, as Bush did in Lebanon, just to satisfy some imperious notion from the Executive of the manipulation of the region into a 'New Middle East' or any other nation-building crock. The impending withdrawal of troops by Israel from Lebanon, which was announced today, should expose everyone who encouraged the violence there as the warmongers that they are; overtly or passively advocating wanton killing, which almost always brings about resisting violence until the cycle is interrupted. Calls for an immediate cease-fire should be more respected in the future. I imagine they likely won't be, but they should in the wake of the tragic farce that was played out by the leaders of Israel and Hizbollah at their follower's expense.
Most importantly, we should not stand idly by as Bush 'chooses' missions for our nation's military which far exceed our constitution and conscience, as he has in Iraq, and, as he intends for his campaign of regime change for the government of Iran. Bush has no credibility left that we should allow him to continue to flail our soldiers around the globe like his own personal band of mercenaries. We should demand that he adhere to our own standards of democracy and due process instead of pursuing his own flaky notion of someone else's liberty or freedom.
Bush should be made to account for the many instances where his own obstinate beliefs have led to the needless destruction of innocent lives and livelihoods caught in the way of his "ideological struggle" that he beckons us all to join. The world knows well enough of the record of his deceit and lies that we will surely be isolated in whatever contrived aggression he chooses to direct our soldiers to fight and die for next. For George Bush, spitting in the wind at the U.N. General Assembly has become as predictable for him as his reflexive militarism.
Right back at ya, George.