Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bush at the UN

It was a thoroughly unremarkable speech.

Not Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presentation but America’s President George Bush’s address to members of the UN General Assembly on September 25. In fact, what was most notable was what Bush didn’t say.

Only twice were the place names “Afghanistan,” “Lebanon,” and “Iraq” spoken, and they were paired both times within a four-sentence paragraph.

Similarly, Belarus, North Korea, Syria, and Iran earned but one mention, and again within a single sentence. Only Burma (4), Darfur (3), and Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Cuba (2 each) had had more than a single mention.

Moreover, Bush’s theme was most “un-Bush-like,” which was a welcome change. His theme was applying the principles of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights “to free people from tyranny and violence, hunger and disease, illiteracy and ignorance, and poverty and despair.” For each category he quoted the relevant article from the Universal Declaration:

Tyranny and violence – Article 1
Hunger and disease – Article 25
Illiteracy and ignorance – Article 26
Poverty and Despair -- Article 23

One constant was his love affair with “free” and freedom” – he used the words 17 times, more often than “rights” or “liberate.”

One wonders how much more “freedom” and rights and liberty the U.S. could help bring to the globe were we “free” from Iraq’s warfighting costs.


Blogger Susan said...

This statement is not as much in response to the man who calls himself our "President" or his oratory at the UN, as it is a tribute to my husband, who joined the Army during the Vietnam era to avoid the draft. Luckily, he did not have to "Go", but being in college during that part of our history taught me well what a danger this country is to the world, not to mention the danger we are to ourselves. Due to a non-Service related illness he died on August 1st of this year, 2007. He became a psychotherapist and devoted his life to victimized children, but also never forgot the victimization of the entire population of this country--up until his death at age 53. We have both been profoundly affected by the "renting asunder" caused by the policies of the US especially in the last 7 years. I do not want to sound bitter, but it is unfathomable to me that the mis-application of power causes the wholesale damage that we see everyday. Gregory only wanted to set things right in our community and our world. He did his part and I just implore anyone who is out there to stand up and do your own part in righting wrongs-at home or abroad in the 128 countries that we have military presance. We are such a fortunate population in so many ways, but in so many other ways we have a sickening poverty of character. Again, please stand up and let our riches heal this earth. This is all I have to say, in behalf of my dear husband who always tried to make things right. Please help me make his life mean something. With much sincerity, Susan Dance-Thomas October 15, in the year of our benevolent Lord 2007.

5:07 AM  

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