CNN: Transcript of Bush’s U.N. speech


Richard Moore


This is about all Bush had to say regarding Iran:

       "The United Nations has passed a clear resolution requiring
        that the regime in Tehran meet its international
        obligations. Iran must abandon its nuclear weapons
           Despite what the regime tells you, we have no objection to
        Iran's pursuit of a truly peaceful nuclear power program.
            We're working toward a diplomatic solution to this crisis.
       And as we do, we look to the day when you can live in
        freedom, and America and Iran can be good friends and close
        partners in the cause of peace."

Notably missing here is a demand the UN enact sanctions. Recall back to when the
US was preparing to invade Iraq. In that case there were strong demands for 
sanctions, and Washington told the UN it would become "irrelevant" if it didn't 
act forcefully. The contrast between these two attitudes is very striking.  We 
don't even see a call for regime change in Iran! Not only is this a change from 
the Iraq attitude, it is even a major shift from just a few weeks ago.

We can't know for sure what liar Bush really has in mind, but we must 
acknowledge that his stance on the international scene is much more conciliatory
now than it has been in the past. The big question here is "Why?".

Here's one possibility: the Pentagon realizes that their fleet would get 
clobbered in the Gulf and that the conflict would escalate out of control, 
possibly to WW III scale. Perhaps Russia and China have secretly told Washington
that they would respond to a nuclear attack on Iran. Perhaps the Generals aren't
ready for WW III. One can only hope.


Original source URL:

Transcript of Bush's U.N. speech
POSTED: 1900 GMT (0300 HKT), September 19, 2006

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- President Bush made a case for democracy and moderate 
voices in the Middle East Tuesday, challenging world leaders to play a 
supportive role and rejecting claims that the West is at war with Islam.

He also urged support for a robust U.N. force in Sudan's Darfur region and 
announced the appointment of a presidential special envoy to seek peace there.

Below is a transcript of his remarks before the United Nations:

BUSH: Mr. Secretary General, Madam President, distinguished delegates, and 
ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank you for the privilege of speaking to this 
General Assembly.

Last week America and the world marked the fifth anniversary of the attacks that
filled another September morning with death and suffering. On that terrible day,
extremists killed nearly 3,000 innocent people, including citizens of dozens of 
nations represented right here in this chamber.

Since then, the enemies of humanity have continued their campaign of murder. Al 
Qaeda and those inspired by its extremist ideology have attacked more than two 
dozen nations. And recently a different group of extremists deliberately 
provoked a terrible conflict in Lebanon.

At the start of the 21st century, it is clear that the world is engaged in a 
great ideological struggle between extremists who use terror as a weapon to 
create fear and moderate people who work for peace.

Five years ago I stood at this podium and called on the community of nations to 
defend civilization and build a more hopeful future. This is still the great 
challenge of our time.

It is the calling of our generation.

This morning I want to speak about the more hopeful world that is within our 
reach, a world beyond terror, where ordinary men and women are free to determine
their own destiny, where the voices of moderation are empowered, and where the 
extremists are marginalized by the peaceful majority.

This world can be ours, if we seek it, and if we work together.

The principles of this world beyond terror can be found in the very first 
sentence of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document declares 
that, "The equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is 
the foundation of freedom and justice and peace in the world."

One of the authors of this document was a Lebanese diplomat named Charles Malik,
who would go on to become president of this assembly.

Mr. Malik insisted that these principles applied equally to all people, of all 
regions, of all religions, including the men and women of the Arab world that 
was his home.

In the nearly six decades since that document was approved, we have seen the 
forces of freedom and moderation transform entire continents. Sixty years after 
a terrible war, Europe is now whole, free and at peace, and Asia has seen 
freedom progress and hundreds of millions of people lifted out of desperate 

The words of the Universal Declaration are as true today as they were when they 
were written.

As liberty flourishes, nations grow in tolerance and hope and peace. And we're 
seeing that bright future begin to take root in the broader Middle East.

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 (Hamid) 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. It is represented today by President (Jalal) Talabani.

With these changes, more than 50 million people have been give 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 

Algeria has held its first competitive presidential election, and the military 
remained neutral.

The United Arab Emirates recently announced that half of its seats in the 
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 and 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 

For decades, millions of men and women in the region had been trapped in 
oppression and hopelessness. And these conditions left a generation 
disillusioned and made this region a breeding ground for extremism.

Imagine what it's like to be a young person living in a country that is not 
moving toward reform. You're 21 years old, and while your peers in other parts 
of the world are casting their ballots for the first time, you are powerless to 
change the course of your government.

While your peers in other parts of the world have received educations that 
prepare them for the opportunities of a global economy, you have been fed 
propaganda and conspiracy theories that blame others for your country's 

And everywhere you turn, you hear extremists who tell you that you can escape 
your misery and regain your dignity through violence and terror and martyrdom.

For many across the broader Middle East this is the dismal choice presented 
every day.

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 thing 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 

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 promotes the peace.

To the people of Iraq, nearly 12 million of you braved the car bombers and 
assassins last December to vote in free elections.

The world saw you hold up purple ink-stained fingers. And your courage filled us
with admiration.

You stood firm in the face of horrendous acts of terror and sectarian violence. 
And we will not abandon you and your struggle to build a free nation.

America and our coalition partners will continue to stand with the democratic 
government you elected. We will continue to help you secure the international 
assistance and investment you need to create jobs and opportunity, working with 
the United Nations and through the international compact with Iraq endorsed here
in New York yesterday.

We will continue to train those of you who step forward to fight the enemies of 
freedom. We will not yield the future of your country to terrorists and 

In return, your leaders must rise to the challenges your country is facing and 
make difficult choices to bring security and prosperity.

Working together, we will help your democracy succeed so it can become a beacon 
of hope for millions in the Muslim world.

To the people of Afghanistan, together we overthrew the Taliban regime that 
brought misery into your lives and harbored terrorists who brought death to the 
citizens of many nations.

Since then, we have watched you choose your leaders in free elections and build 
a democratic government.

You can be proud of these achievements.

We respect your courage and determination to live in peace and freedom. We will 
continue to stand with you to defend your democratic gains.

Today, forces from more than 40 countries, including members of the NATO 
alliance, are bravely serving side by side with you against the extremists who 
want to bring down the free government you've established. We'll help you defeat
these enemies and build a free Afghanistan that will never again oppress you or 
be a safe haven for terrorists.

To the people of Lebanon, last year you inspired the world when you came out 
into the streets to demand your independence from Syrian dominance.

You drove Syrian forces from your country, and you reestablished democracy.

Since then, you have been tested by the fighting that began with Hezbollah's 
unprovoked attacks on Israel. Many of you have seen your homes and your 
communities caught in crossfire.

We see your suffering, and the world is helping you to rebuild your country and 
helping you deal with the armed extremists who are undermining your democracy by
acting as a state within a state.

The United Nations has passed a good resolution that has authorized an 
international force, led by France and Italy, to help you restore Lebanese 
sovereignty over Lebanese soil.

For many years, Lebanon was a model of democracy and pluralism and openness in 
the region. And it will be again.

To the people of Iran, the United States respects you.

We respect your country. We admire your rich history, your vibrant culture and 
your many contributions to civilization.

You deserve an opportunity to determine your own future, an economy that rewards
your intelligence and your talents, and a society that allows you to fulfill 
your tremendous potential.

The greatest obstacle to this future is that your rulers have chosen to deny you
liberty and to use your nation's resources to fund terrorism and fuel extremism 
and pursue nuclear weapons.

The United Nations has passed a clear resolution requiring that the regime in 
Tehran meet its international obligations. Iran must abandon its nuclear weapons

Despite what the regime tells you, we have no objection to Iran's pursuit of a 
truly peaceful nuclear power program.

We're working toward a diplomatic solution to this crisis. And as we do, we look
to the day when you can live in freedom, and America and Iran can be good 
friends and close partners in the cause of peace.

To the people of Syria, your land is home to a great people with a proud 
tradition of learning and commerce. Today, your rulers have allowed your country
to become a crossroad for terrorism.

In your midst, Hamas and Hezbollah are working to destabilize the region, and 
your government is turning your country into a tool of Iran. This is increasing 
your country's isolation from the world.

Your government must choose a better way forward by ending its support for 
terror and living at peace with your neighbors and opening the way to a better 
life for you and your families.

To the people of Darfur, you have suffered unspeakable violence. And my nation 
has called these atrocities what they are: Genocide.

For the last two years, America joined with the international community to 
provide emergency food aid and support for an African Union peacekeeping force. 
Yet your suffering continues.

The world must step forward to provide additional humanitarian aid. And we must 
strengthen the African Union force that has done good work, but is not strong 
enough to protect you.

The Security Council has approved a resolution that would transform the African 
Union force into a blue-helmeted force that is larger and more robust. To 
increase its strength and effectiveness, NATO nations should provide logistics 
and other support.

The regime in Khartoum is stopping the deployment of this force. If the Sudanese
government does not approve this peacekeeping force quickly, the United Nations 
must act. Your lives and the credibility of the United Nations is at stake.

So today I'm announcing that I'm naming a presidential special envoy, former 
USAID administrator Andrew Natsios, to lead America's efforts to resolve the 
outstanding disputes and help bring peace to your land.

The world must also stand up for peace in the Holy Land. I'm committed to two 
democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and 

I'm committed to a Palestinian state that has territorial integrity and will 
live peacefully with the Jewish state of Israel.

This is the vision set forth in the road map, and helping the parties reach this
goal is one of the great objectives of my presidency.

The Palestinian people have suffered from decades of corruption and violence and
the daily humiliation of occupation. Israeli citizens have endured brutal acts 
of terrorism and constant fear of attack since the birth of their nation.

Many brave men and women have made the commitment to peace, yet extremists in 
the region are stirring up hatred and trying to prevent these moderate voices 
from prevailing.

The struggle is unfolding in the Palestinian territories.

Earlier this year, the Palestinian people voted in a free election. The leaders 
of Hamas campaigned on a platform of ending corruption and improving the lives 
of the Palestinian people, and they prevailed.

The world is waiting to see whether the Hamas government will follow through on 
its promises or pursue an extremist agenda.

The world has sent a clear message to the leaders of Hamas: Serve the interests 
of the Palestinian people, abandon terror, recognize Israel's right to exist, 
honor agreements that work for peace.

President (Mahmoud) Abbas is committed to peace and to his people's aspirations 
for a state of their own.

Prime Minister (Ehud) Olmert is committed to peace and has said he intends to 
meet with President Abbas to make real progress on the outstanding issues 
between them.

I believe peace can be achieved and that a democratic Palestinian state is 

I hear from leaders in the region who want to help.

I directed Secretary of State (Condoleezza) Rice to lead a diplomatic effort to 
engage moderate leaders across the region to help the Palestinians reform their 
security services and support Israeli and Palestinian leaders in their efforts 
to come together to resolve their differences.

Prime Minister (Tony) Blair has indicated that his country will work with 
partners in Europe to help strengthen the governing institutions of the 
Palestinian administration. We welcome his initiative.

Countries like Saudi Arabia and Jordan and Egypt have made clear they're willing
to contribute the diplomatic and financial assistance necessary to help these 
efforts succeed.

I'm optimistic that, by supporting the forces of democracy and moderation, we 
can help Israelis and Palestinians build a more hopeful future and achieve the 
peace in the Holy Land we all want.

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.

Recently, a courageous group of Arab and Muslim intellectuals wrote me a letter.
In it, they said this: "The shore of reform is the only one on which any lights 
appear, even though the journey demands courage and patience and perseverance."

The United Nations was created to make that journey possible. Together, we must 
support the dreams of good and decent people who are working to transform a 
troubled region. And by doing so, we will advance the high ideals on which this 
institution was founded.

Thank you for your time. God bless.

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