We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The president lays an egg at the U.N.

by Fred Kaplan Thursday, Sep. 25, 2003 at 2:19 PM

The Dimwit in Chief fails again to convince anyone with any intelligence that he is not a congenital liar.



war stories

Bush to World: Drop Dead!

The president lays an egg at the U.N.

By Fred Kaplan

Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2003, at 2:23 PM PT



Has an American president ever delivered such a bafflingly impertinent speech before the General Assembly as the one George W. Bush gave this morning?



Here were the world's foreign ministers and heads of state, anxiously awaiting some sign of an American concession to realism—even the sketchiest outline of a plan to share not just the burden but the power of postwar occupation in Iraq. And Bush gave them nothing, in some ways less than nothing.

In the few seconds he devoted to that subject, he cited only three areas in which the role of the United Nations (or any other nations) should be expanded: writing an Iraqi constitution, training a new corps of civil servants, and supervising elections. None of these notions is new.

Otherwise, Bush's message can be summarized as follows: The U.S.-led occupation authority is doing good work in Iraq; you should come help us; if you don't, you're on the side of the terrorists.

The speech seemed cobbled from the catchphrases of last year's playbook, as if Bush were trying to replicate the success of his previous appearance before the General Assembly—his September 2002 speech, which roused the Security Council to warn Saddam Hussein of "serious consequences"—without showing the slightest recognition that the old words have grown stale and sour.

Bush dredged out the familiar formula—weapons of mass destruction plus terrorism equals the enemy in Iraq—forgetting, or perhaps not caring, that it didn't persuade the United Nations back in November, when Saddam was still in power, and couldn't hope to win backers now.

He described the guerrilla war, still ongoing, as a battle against "terrorists and holdouts of the previous regime"—ignoring a recent finding of the U.S. intelligence community that the main, and most rapidly growing, threat these days comes from ordinary Iraqis, resentful of the occupation.

He laid out the context of the battle as a contest between "those who work for peaceful change and those who adopt the methods of gangsters." Yet it is hard to see how Bush's pre-emptive-war doctrine fits the former category, and it's painful to observe that many Iraqis would say the U.S. occupation—whose soldiers have pounded down so many doors in the middle of the night—fits the latter.

He acknowledged no mistakes, either in the intelligence that preceded the war or in the planning (or lack thereof) that followed it.

He did acknowledge that "some of the sovereign nations of this assembly disagreed" with his decision to go to war, but added that it is time to move on. "Every young democracy needs the help of friends," he said. "All nations of goodwill should step forward and provide that support."

He painted the United States as following the true principles of the U.N. charter, which call on all nations to "stand with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq," as they build freedom. As for a timetable for turning over power, he said only that the process should be "neither hurried nor delayed."

"The United States of America is committed to the U.N.," Bush added, "by giving meaning to its ideals"—but not, apparently, by sharing authority with its constituents.

Bush spent the remainder of the speech exhorting his fellow leaders to join forces against nuclear proliferation, AIDS, and the international sex-slave trade. Such sentiments would be inoffensively bromidic in a typical address before the General Assembly. But Bush cheapened the causes by linking them with the unfinished business in Iraq. All of these issues, he said in his conclusion—Iraq, terrorism, and WMD, as well as AIDS and teen sex-slaves—require "urgent attention and moral clarity."

The rest of the world's leaders, who had remained conspicuously silent throughout the speech, greeted its conclusion with, at best, polite applause, which is the most it deserved. By comparison, the droningly convoluted speech that followed, by French President Jacques Chirac, was a model of perspicacity.

One section of Bush's speech is worth very serious note. "Success of a free Iraq," he said, "will be watched and noted throughout the region." A free and democratic Iraq would provide a shining example that could transform the Middle East, and "a transformed Middle East would benefit the entire world."

Bush is absolutely right on this point, which is why he needs to get over his hang-ups about France, the Security Council, and the diplomatic disasters of last November, and to get serious about working out a common solution to the much bigger disaster that looms in Iraq. His speech could, and should, have signaled a new opening. Instead, it seemed to close off every option.

Fred Kaplan writes the "War Stories" column for Slate.

Article URL: http://slate.msn.com/id/2088799/
Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Hmmm? Chuck U. Farley Thursday, Sep. 25, 2003 at 2:21 PM
Hello Chuck U. Farley Thursday, Sep. 25, 2003 at 2:24 PM

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

FARCELONA.2 J20 7:18PM

FAKE NEWS POR SOROS J20 6:11PM

Chemtrails and Prince J20 2:43PM

Wages For Housework J20 2:41PM

Tutelle comportementaliste J20 9:18AM

A Mistake: Jesse Jackson-Toyota deal-in Lexington -Ky is .8 billion over 10 years 2018 J20 1:17AM

If Trump Declares a AantionalEmergency, He'll Be Breaking the Law J20 12:47AM

Jesse Jackson's Sneak Attck on Toyota Lexington Ky and it's workers 2018 J19 9:12PM

Video: Chris Herdges in Eugene, 1 hr 24 min J19 5:37PM

FAKE NEWS J19 2:31PM

MACROTHSCHILD.2 J19 11:03AM

Judge Delays Ruling on Puerto Rico Debt Deal White House Opposes Island's Food Assistance J18 6:04PM

BATACLOWNS J18 9:28AM

FALSAS VICTIMAS J18 9:22AM

Paraphysique de proxémie guerrière J18 7:59AM

MACROTHSCHILD J17 9:38PM

FARCELONA 8.17.2017 J17 3:23PM

DEAD MAN LIVING J17 10:46AM

DIARY OF A CON MAN J16 10:40PM

PR Debt Cancel, Judge Reviews Cofina Debt J16 9:04PM

Réseautage, fragmentation du capital J16 4:20PM

Paraphysique de manipulation mentale et sociale J15 9:51AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

Markets as a Fetish, Globalization, and Dissent Management J14 1:03PM

State Debts - The Primal German Fear J13 5:09PM

Sans liberté, sans égalité, sans fraternité J13 8:09AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy