Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Bush tries unsuccessfully to defend his actions in an address to the UN

A somber and sober audience listed to Bush defending his actions for the invasion of Iraq

Bush, who is under fire at home over the increasing death toll in Iraq, did not seem to impress the General Assembly at the United Nations.  Reports say that the attendee’s mood was quite reserved.  Bush's speech was applauded only after he completed his closing comments.  Not exactly the warm reception he was counting on.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has openly stated, for the record, that the US actions are illegal and that no country is above the law.  The Iraq prisoner abuse is still very fresh in the minds of the delegates.  Annan also cited the prisoner abuse is among "flagrant" examples of lawlessness.

Bush tried to talk over Annan declaring that the US invasion was just and proper.  The rest of the UN does not share that same belief.

Bush is also suggesting that the UN has become irrelevant, which pretty much summates his administration.

French President Jacques Chirac openly criticized the US for refusing to endorse a declaration backed by 110 countries to fight hunger and to increase funds to help millions escape the poverty trap.  This is a legitimate complain – the US has enough money to bomb and wage war, but no money to help bring relief to millions of suffering people.

Bush has chosen not to address, or try to repair, his fractious relationship with the international community, which will probably increase as time goes on. 

This speech, though, did not have the same aggressive tone and demeanor as was evident in Bush’s last barrage on the United Nations.  Bush seemed more sedate and soft spoken, probably because he knew he was facing a less than pleased audience.

Mr. Annan  concluded with the words: "Those who seek to bestow legitimacy must themselves embody it, and those who invoke international law must themselves submit to it" A statement made in direct diplomatic terms regarding the US's rouge actions, attitudes, and Bush's  decision to invade Iraq without full United Nations backing.

Final score: Bush 0, UN 191

Michael Berglin

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