Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bush tells UN: "No regrets".

Bush went for the last time to the UN. As always, there was not a hint of doubt in his delivery. He still insists that he is right and that the rest of us were wrong. On Iraq, on Georgia, on a long list of subjects, he hit the same tiresome talking points which have come to define his administration.

He continues to misuse the word "freedom" and apply it to the unfortunate subjects of American geopolitical expansionism.

One hundred and ninety two country's watched him in an almost spooky silence, a reminder of how much he has alienated his nation from the rest of the planet.

He recited the usual talking points:

Bush took the opportunity to assess his two terms in power that contained no regrets and no apology.

Afghanistan and Iraq had been transformed, he said, "from regimes that actively sponsor terror to democracies that fight terror".

Libya had renounced its backing of extremists and dropped its pursuit of nuclear weapons, and Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were engaged in the struggle to root out extremism. Democracy, too, had spread around the world under his watch. "Whenever or wherever people are given the choice, they chose freedom," he said.

He attacked the terrorists who reject "international order", and who reject "the values of justice and human rights that gave birth to the United Nations, values that have fuelled an unprecedented expansion of freedom across the world. To uphold the words of the Charter in the face of this challenge, every nation in this chamber has responsibilities."

It was simply breathtaking to watch Bush remind the United Nations and it's members of the need to uphold "the words of the Charter", the very same Charter which his administration so recklessly abandoned when they invaded Iraq without a UN resolution.

But when he stated that "United Nations and multilateral organisations are needed more urgently than ever", one had to wonder why, if he understood this to be the case, that he had done so much to undermine them whilst in power. But then he explained why.

"Instead of only passing resolutions decrying terrorist attacks after they occur, we must co-operate more closely to prevent terrorist attacks from occurring in the first place."

And we were instantly back in the world of the Bush Doctrine, the Doctrine whose policy of pre-emption goes against the very reasons the UN was formed, the notion that war must always be a last resort, and that bullying is no way to conduct international affairs. The UN is actually an anathema to everything which Bush believes in and, no matter how cutely he tried to hide this fact with his false praise of the international body, the silence with which he was greeted suggested that all who listened knew the vast chasm between his rhetoric and what he actually meant.

Over the last eight years we have all learnt Bush-speak, we know the code words, and we know what he actually means when he says them. And we are also well used to the Bush straw men, those arguments which he loves to put up so that he can knock them down, by suggesting positions which no-one on the planet actually holds. To that end we were treated to, "some suggest that these people will pose less of a threat if we only leave them alone."

I don't know anyone who actually has ever put forward that position and Bush was careful to, once again, couch this rubbish under the trusty old umbrella of "some people", the trick he always uses when constructing such straw man arguments.

He urged the UN to pursue and confront terror and, without a hint of irony, stated: "no cause can ever justify the taking of innocent life".

Thus, the man who had killed more innocents than anyone else in the Chamber, sought to highlight the difference between the deliberate killing of innocents - a practice which he rightly condemns - and the innocents killed during needless and illegal wars; a practice which he, unsurprisingly, finds to be part of a larger, more noble, and much misunderstood higher moral purpose.

There was an insistence that UN res 1540 must be implemented and that sanctions must be carried out against North Korea and Iran, again merging the theme of terrorism to include nations which merely oppose the US rather than actually conduct any recognisable acts of terrorism.

He then launched into his diatribe about freedom, articulating his belief that democracy's don't start wars and ignoring the fact that the United States, the most powerful democracy in the history of the world had, under his leadership, done that very thing. He had launched war against a nation which had never attacked him and which had no intention of ever doing so.

It is that fact which makes his attempt to tie democracy and the war against terror together into an articulate world view so tenuous. His argument simply doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Indeed, it simply doesn't pass the test based on his own actions.

But Bush's world outlook has always been do as I say, not as I do, and his final speech to the UN was no different from anything we have heard in the past.

He remains a spectacular failure as a President and as a world statesman.

He stood before us all, defiantly, one last time to make sure that we understood that he has no regrets. None at all. The thousands of innocents who have died, because of decisions he has taken, cost him no sleep. He is happy with the carnage he has unleashed on millions of souls. He believes history will vindicate him.

I have always loathed this man from the very core of my being. His horrid mixture of ignorance and arrogance simply appalls me.

His last appearance gave me no reason to question my judgement. He really is an appalling, profoundly ignorant and cocksure little man.

No comments: