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The President's Address To The U.N.

The transcript of the President's address to the U.N. can be found here.

Some of the changes in the Middle East have been dramatic, and we see the results in this chamber. Five years ago, Afghanistan was ruled by the brutal Taliban regime, and its seat in this body was contested. Now this seat is held by the freely elected government of Afghanistan, which is represented today by President Karzai. Five years ago, Iraq's seat in this body was held by a dictator who killed his citizens, invaded his neighbors, and showed his contempt for the world by defying more than a dozen U.N. Security Council resolutions. Now Iraq's seat is held by a democratic government that embodies the aspirations of the Iraq people, who's represented today by President Talabani. With these changes, more than 50 million people have been given a voice in this chamber for the first time in decades.

Some of the changes in the Middle East are happening gradually, but they are real. Algeria has held its first competitive presidential election, and the military remained neutral. The United Arab Emirates recently announced that half of the seats in its Federal National Council will be chosen by elections. Kuwait held elections in which women were allowed to vote and run for office for the first time. Citizens have voted in municipal elections in Saudi Arabia, in parliamentary elections in Jordan and Bahrain, and in multiparty presidential elections in Yemen and Egypt. These are important steps, and the governments should continue to move forward with other reforms that show they trust their people. Every nation that travels the road to freedom moves at a different pace, and the democracies they build will reflect their own culture and traditions. But the destination is the same: A free society where people live at peace with each other and at peace with the world.

Some have argued that the democratic changes we're seeing in the Middle East are destabilizing the region. This argument rests on a false assumption, that the Middle East was stable to begin with. The reality is that the stability we thought we saw in the Middle East was a mirage. For decades, millions of men and women in the region have been trapped in oppression and hopelessness. And these conditions left a generation disillusioned, and made this region a breeding ground for extremism.
...
Every civilized nation, including those in the Muslim world, must support those in the region who are offering a more hopeful alternative. We know that when people have a voice in their future, they are less likely to blow themselves up in suicide attacks. We know that when leaders are accountable to their people, they are more likely to seek national greatness in the achievements of their citizens, rather than in terror and conquest. So we must stand with democratic leaders and moderate reformers across the broader Middle East. We must give them voice to the hopes of decent men and women who want for their children the same things we want for ours. We must seek stability through a free and just Middle East where the extremists are marginalized by millions of citizens in control of their own destinies.

Today, I'd like to speak directly to the people across the broader Middle East: My country desires peace. Extremists in your midst spread propaganda claiming that the West is engaged in a war against Islam. This propaganda is false, and its purpose is to confuse you and justify acts of terror. We respect Islam, but we will protect our people from those who pervert Islam to sow death and destruction. Our goal is to help you build a more tolerant and hopeful society that honors people of all faiths and promote the peace.

The President then individually addressed the people of several countries in the Middle East, including Iran. He then spoke about freedom more generally.
Freedom, by its nature, cannot be imposed -- it must be chosen. From Beirut to Baghdad, people are making the choice for freedom. And the nations gathered in this chamber must make a choice, as well: Will we support the moderates and reformers who are working for change across the Middle East -- or will we yield the future to the terrorists and extremists? America has made its choice: We will stand with the moderates and reformers.



Comments (12)

This paragraph from your ex... (Below threshold)
langtry:

This paragraph from your except is especially telling:

"Today, I'd like to speak directly to the people across the broader Middle East: My country desires peace. Extremists in your midst spread propaganda claiming that the West is engaged in a war against Islam. This propaganda is false, and its purpose is to confuse you and justify acts of terror. We respect Islam, but we will protect our people from those who pervert Islam to sow death and destruction. Our goal is to help you build a more tolerant and hopeful society that honors people of all faiths and promote the peace. "
It doesn't get any clearer than that. Would the countries that most need to hear this had a free press.
Dear sister,I respec... (Below threshold)

Dear sister,
I respect Humanity above everything. If Bush respects Islam- but still the wars and fights go on in certain regions is it fair?

Wow mu, that was almost coh... (Below threshold)

Wow mu, that was almost coherent. I don't understand your question. Are you implying that the war in Iraq/Afghanistan is a war against Islam?

No, MU, it's not fair that ... (Below threshold)
lunacy:

No, MU, it's not fair that Indonesian Muslims kill Christians. Nor is it fair that Arab Muslims want to wipe out all the Black Muslims and Animists in Darfur. Nor is it fair that Sunni Muslims in Kashmir want to kill Hindis and Shias. Nor was it fair when Nigerian Muslims slaughtered Nigerian Christians due to a few colorful cartoons.

Tanzania, Kenya, NY, New Delhi, Bali, Casablanca, Beslam, Madrid, Jordan, Sharm el-Sheikh,Egypt, London, Delhi, Varanasi.

The list could go on but you get the picture.

Let's talk about fair.

The administration will lob... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

The administration will lobby for billions of dollars for Iraq which had/has nothing to do with the war with al Qeada, while it stiffs Pakistan, which is the only non-European nation that has actual supported us in our war with al Qeada. In 2003, the Bush administration pledged $3-Billion in aid over the next five years. This month, the aid was slashed from $550-million to $300-million, and next year it will be slashed to $200-million.

I guess Musharraf has had enough. First, we learned that Pakistan granted sanctuary to the Taliban, and now this:

The Telegraph cites Pakistani lawyers who claim that the Pakistani government has “freed 2,500 foreigners who were originally held on suspicion of having links to al-Qaeda or the Taliban over the past four years.” This number includes virtually all al-Qaeda prisoners in Pakistan’s custody, including those held for the beheading of Wall Street Journal writer Daniel Pearl.

Where is the outrage from the right?

"[The Iraq war] had/has not... (Below threshold)
George:

"[The Iraq war] had/has nothing to do with the war with al Qeada..."

Tell me again, where was Al-Zarqawi killed?

Tell me again, where was... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Tell me again, where was Al-Zarqawi killed?

George -

By similar reasoning, from the video of Rusmsfeld shaking hands with Hussein in Baghdad, we can conclude...yada yada yada
"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him."
- G.W. Bush, 9/13/01

George, why don’t you read ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

George, why don’t you read the SSC Phase II report. Iraq became a breeding ground for terrorists after we arrived not before. In last month’s Senate hearings Gen. Abizaid said the US occupation has created up to 15,000 terrorists.

Now how about that short sighted plan to screw Musharraf? Do you think that releasing 2,500 terrorists was a good idea? What the hell did Musharraf and Bush talk about last spring? Does this president have any competency at all?

One question concerning the... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

One question concerning the vaunted spread of democracy where civilised laws prevail, where would the US be able to send its 'extraordinary rendition' subjects for torture even when completely innocent , if democracy took hold in the Middle East.

Tanzania, Kenya, NY, New... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Tanzania, Kenya, NY, New Delhi, Bali, Casablanca, Beslam, Madrid, Jordan, Sharm el-Sheikh,Egypt, London, Delhi, Varanasi.
The list could go on but you get the picture.

You left out Thailand(who, last reported, wasn't sending troops in Iraq or Afghanistan):

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/46893120-fc29-11da-b1a1-0000779e2340.html

The point, being, is that r... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

The point, being, is that radical Islam doctrine has been killing far more people in the Middle East for far, far longer than we could ever attempt to do.

Want the US to leave you alone? Stop killing us, and stop killing each other. Got it? Good.

By similar reasoning, fr... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

By similar reasoning, from the video of Rusmsfeld shaking hands with Hussein in Baghdad, we can conclude...yada yada yada

So did Chirac, for that matter.

Clinton shook Arafat's hand.

Carter shook the Shah of Iran's hand.


Rumsfeld at the time of the hand-shaking was a Special Envoy to the Middle-East. He liasoned with many ME dignitaries, including Hussein. At the time, Iraq and Iran were going at it. Lesser of two evils at the time. Also, Rummy wasn't exactly unaware of the difficulties of having to deal with SH, as he remarked to Tariq Aziz at the time: "Our efforts to assist (Iraq) were inhibited by certain things that made it difficult for us ... citing the use of chemical weapons."

For future study, please research the definition and article of "Realpolitik".




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