Bush Heads to the UN With His Ego and Ignorance Intact
Two days before an appearance before the UN to solicit assistance from an organization he pissed on, Bush is not saying anything that is likely to help his cause. In an interview on the official White House network Fox News, Bush said he might be willing to allow the UN to oversee the first election, and then managed to say just enough to ensure that the UN will still give him the digital salute on Tuesday.
President Bush said yesterday that he is prepared to allow the United Nations to oversee the first postwar election in Iraq, a limited concession to demands that he give the world body a more vigorous role in rebuilding the country.
"I do think it would be helpful to get the United Nations in to help write a constitution. I mean, they're good at that," Bush told Fox News in an Oval Office interview to be aired tonight. "Or, perhaps when an election starts, they'll oversee the election. That would be deemed a larger role."
Then, to rub salt into the wounds,
Bush cast his offering in grudging terms. Brit Hume, Washington managing editor of Fox News, asked whether he would grant the United Nations more of a role in the Iraqi political process to make way for a resolution.
"I'm not so sure we have to, for starters," Bush said before going on to discuss the constitution and elections.
Bush said his message at the United Nations will be: "Although some of you didn't agree with the actions we took, now let's work together to rebuild Iraq, rebuild Afghanistan, fight AIDS and hunger, deal with slavery, like sex slavery, and deal with proliferation. Let's work together on big issues.
"I will make it clear that I made the right decision and the others that joined us made the right decision," he added. "The world is a better place without Saddam Hussein." Bush said he would remind member nations of the "serious consequences" promised in Resolution 1441, passed by the Security Council in November, if Iraq did not disarm. "At least somebody stood up and said this is a definition of serious consequences," he said.
Yep, that should work. A sanctimonious, smug, arrogant lying bastard telling the world that he was right for misleading his own country into a war and enriching his friends while doing it.
Yet while Bush maintains his finger-in-the-eye attitude towards those he needs, he unsurprisingly will find that they are all too willing to let him hang for his mistakes. As this Simon Tisdall piece in tomorrow’s Guardian indicates, some in Europe are willing to let Bush sink under the burden he has created for himself.
Until Iraqis are able physically to control their country, and unless it cuts and runs, the US will continue to bear the main security burden. Yet as the war's progenitor, it is only right that it should. It is a price Bush should be made to pay even though, thanks to his foolishness and hubris, it is America's soldiers who pay the highest price of all.
And in asking for help this year, Bush is a victim of the lies he himself told at the UN last year, and the resulting distrust many in the world community feel toward him, as David Corn of the Nation said on Friday. How many lies will he tell this year?
Those he is trying to win over are already saying no, such as Pakistan.
And for a man who Bush feels he can read, Vladimir Putin is talking like a man who has Bush where he wants him:
Putin opposed the war in Iraq and joined French and German efforts to prevent passage of a U.N. resolution Bush sought authorizing the use of force. He said that Russia's position hadn't changed and that "the situation that is developing in Iraq is the best confirmation that Russia was right."
With the confidence of a man who feels vindicated, Putin set the stage for cooperation with the United States as well as bargaining with Bush, who wants a new U.N. resolution authorizing a multinational peacekeeping force for Iraq.
"In contrast to many participants of this process, our approach is quite liberal," Putin said. "Theoretically, we don't exclude more active participation of Russia in the restoration of Iraq, including the participation of our military in the normalization process."
However, Putin quickly added that "the question of sending Russian troops is not at the current time on the agenda - it is not even being considered."
At his home outside Moscow, Putin reiterated that Russia does not oppose a broader force for Iraq under U.S. command. "It doesn't matter who is at the head of the operation; it could be the American military," Putin said. "What matters is that this decision is made by the U.N. Security Council and spells out the terms of military involvement, including the mission, the length of time and other issues."
In other words, unless there is a Security Council resolution outlining the role of the UN and authorizing military and political arrangements in Iraq, there will be no Russian help, and no help from anyone else.
So as he heads into a critical speech at the UN with a full head of attitude, Bush seems destined for failure due to his self-assured righteousness. He has no one but himself to blame. You would think that after learning the lessons of being the leader of the free world for three years, a little humility and ability to negotiate would be in order from Bush.
And you would be wrong.