President George W. Bush stood before the United Nations to gain support for the occupation in Iraq, Sept. 23, 2003. But Bush came off as nothing more than an indignant teen-ager turning to his parents for help in the face of his mistakes, while all the time refusing to acknowledge that he did anything wrong.
Make no mistake, when it comes to American foreign policy in this new era, there is no more “we.” This nation stands alone in the ashes of cities and the destruction of a world community established upon the very principles that Bush has disregarded as nothing more than the rules of a game.
In Bush’s speech, he had the chance to apologize and own up to previous failures. He could have applied a bandage to the wounds that were first opened after the first Afghan civilian was consciously murdered in the “war on terrorism,” but instead he chose to continue the bleeding and bloodshed.
Bush claimed there remained “unity…among the fundamental principles and objectives of the United Nations,” but he is wrong. The principles and objectives the United Nations were founded on aimed to establish and maintain an order of checks and balances among the world’s powers and to nurture an international community.
But by disregarding U.N. objections without even a look back over his shoulder, he removed the United States from this “unity” and isolated the nation on an iceberg that is drifting farther and farther from the mainland.
In a demonstration of pure vanity and self-righteousness, President Bush defended his actions in Iraq wholeheartedly, insisting “the regime of Saddam Hussein cultivated ties to terror while it built weapons of mass destruction.” This is in the face of a complete lack of evidence, or even suggestion of the latter and the complete exaggeration of the former.
Bush conveniently recognized this only a week ago, when he acknowledged there was no evidence to suggest that Saddam Hussein played a role in the attacks of Sept. 11. He also claimed, “Across Iraq, life is being improved by liberty,” continuing to harp on with a foolish suggestion that he cares about the well-being of the Iraqi people, something that no one most likely believes.
Bush recognized the fact that “some of the sovereign nations” were against the military action, such as Germany, France and Russia, and urged the United Nations to “move forward” and “step forward and provide…support.”
Translation: We are right and were right before, but we’re willing to forgive and forget. Here’s your chance to get back on our good side, because you are either with us or you’re with the terrorists.
In the face of such juvenile behavior that does nothing but promote the violence that was spawned from an unprecedented preemptive strike, is it any wonder that the world’s most advanced nations reject our overtures?
At one point, Bush claimed that “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; between those who honor the rights of man, and those who deliberately take the lives of men, and women, and children, without mercy or shame.”
He’s right, but he just doesn’t realize that he divided our country from the rest of the world. For the sake of the innocent Iraqi and Afghan civilians murdered in the pursuit of American interests after the trump card that was Sept. 11, let us hope that he realizes that truth before he’s unable to mend what was already broken.
Noah Potvin can be reached at Redfloit5@hotmail.com.