Bush’s State Of The Global Union Speech

George Bush just finished delivering his speech at the UN General Assembly, which I live-blogged at Heading Right. The President acquitted himself well on the world stage, speaking on a broad range of topics, to general approbation. However, he missed an opportunity to emphasize a narrower set of national priorities, and in the end gave what sounded like a State of the Union speech.
As expected, he spent more time on Myanmar than any other topic. He repeatedly and pointedly called the nation Burma, its former name prior to the military coup. Bush timed the attention to coincide with the most extensive protests against the junta yet seen, and challenged the General Assembly to take steps to support the democracy activists.
Bush scored points by tying Burma/Myanmar to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN’s failure to pursue it in other places. He singled out Lebanon, Syria, and Iran in this portion of the speech, but he didn’t follow up well. Bush could have pointed out that Syria still defies UN Security Council demands for cooperation in the investigation of the Hariri assassination — or that they continue to assassinate Lebanese politicians to this day. He never even mentioned the Iranian intransigence on nuclear proliferation or their state sponsorship of terrorism. He did cast Iran’s government as oppressive, but quickly shifted topics.
The second half of the speech turned into a succession of promises for more American spending on UN priorities. It almost sounded like a campaign speech for the UNGA presidency. Bush committed $30 billion to fight AIDS, increased funds to fight malaria, and promises of more resources to fight poverty and famine. He never mentioned the primary cause for both: the corrupt and dictatorial political systems in nations that suffer from them. Bush never called for political reform in places like Zimbabwe as a means to lift the standard of living, and even his calls for UN reform were brief and nebulous.
It wasn’t a bad speech. It could have been so much better. The UN does not need a State of the Global Union address — it needs blunt, honest truths about its shortcomings and the necessary steps to bring prosperity and freedom to the entire world.

14 thoughts on “Bush’s State Of The Global Union Speech”

  1. Sorry Captain, I disagree with you regarding what the UN needs…they need to be disbanded 100%. Not that that will help in the long run. Human beings have a habit of doing almost anything for money and subsequently, power. It will be as it has been for tens of thousands of years backward and forward.
    I didn’t hear Bush speak. Am no longer interested enough. In private, I am sure he can tell it like it is, but public speaking, like a reverend, is for the likes of Bubba and Obama, Sharpton and Jackson…much untruths, but sounding good.

  2. Interesting…
    Please, this is not even close to a Kerry offering.
    The Captain should also remember, with all the concerning Parties in the UN, including China, Russia, etc., this is a competition.
    The USA is competing for Allies…
    We are not going to slam everything and everyone right now.
    Remember, we are building support to isolate Iran and other Countries.
    This is what diplomacy is all about, and playing strategy.
    The Speech was good, and yes, could have been better.
    But this was essential.

  3. It helps to remember that Bush is a poker player, and an excellent one at that.
    He know his hand and always is playing strategy to let the other players tip theirs.
    Re-read his speech with that thought in mind.

  4. The Captain Live Blogged President Bush’s UN Speech

    President Bush’s UN speech today was good, but Ed Morrissey thinks it could have been so much better:The second half of the speech turned into a succession of promises for more American spending on UN priorities. It almost sounded like a campaign speec…

  5. This was an ‘essential’ speech, was it? You can’t possibly believe that anything that occurs at the UN is essential to US interests. Please do elaborate.
    And Bush as poker player! I haven’t seen that old chestnut since the 06 elections. Carol always used to praise Bush’s poker skill–until she decided she’d seen enough.
    This speech was Internationalist George, at his airy worst.

  6. AIDS is not primarily the result of a corrupt political system. AIDS is primarily the result of at-risk male-male human sexual behavior — and, as a secondary vector, sharing of injectable drug paraphernalia. Of course, the two vectors have an intersection, which is why the secondary vector exists in the first place.
    Even non-corrupt political systems can contribute by inaction to the spread of AIDS — Consider South African President Mbeki and his insistence that AIDS is caused by poverty and not an HIV virus.

  7. james, are you certain you want my elaboration?
    you are someone who foolishly equated this speech with something a Democrat would offer.
    a Democrat would be apologizing for what they consider the big problem, the USA…
    you could not be more mistaken, and your emotive response to the President’s fine offering today was so overboard, you suggest you are part of the problem.
    some have foolishly embraced a misguided mindset, where they are constantly blaming those serving their interests.
    the insane mantra of boycotting the vote in 2006 was a sincere embarrassment, and only helped the Liberal Democrat Folly.
    “This was an ‘essential’ speech, was it?”
    when the Despot of Iran is going to appear at the UN, you must counter the expression with some sanity.
    the UN is deeply flawed, should be radically reformed, or even closed, but right now it is a tool which can be used to help influence the world.
    a strong US President on display, condemning Dictatorships is essential and should be celebrated by all.
    if you are so jaded you cannot see simple reality, i hope you will take a step back and regroup.
    we are going to be increasing pressure on Iran, Syria, etc., and the more support around the Globe we can obtain the better.
    it is essential…

  8. Good speech not his finest. Could have been tougher on Syria, Iran and NK, though. But since dhimmirats in Congress would probably bring articles of impeachment if W bombed Iranian or Syrian nukes, without their authorization, and since the dems wouldn’t give W authorization under any circumstances, the President is trying to buy time without looking hamstrung by the dhimmirats here.

  9. The US Deptartment of State does consider this country as Burma and things are a mess – if the Buddist’s are harmed all hell just might break lose against the military.

  10. brooklyn sez: “the UN is deeply flawed, should be radically reformed, or even closed, but right now it is a tool which can be used to help influence the world.”
    So the UN is both “deeply flawed” and “should be radically reformed, or even closed”–I’m with you so far–AND ALSO “is a tool which can be used to help influence the world.”
    You lost me at the hairpin turn. If it “is a tool which can be used to help influence the world.”, why then should it be “closed?” More precisely, if the UN serves essential US interests, why should it be closed?
    And please, do give me examples of the many times that “essential” US interests have been served by the UN? Take your time, not a trick question . . . . .

  11. We have dhimmicrats? What a witty insult. Almost as good as Rethugs or Repugs.
    James23 – So you then think the US should have to deal with all 192 nations individually to get things done? Smart thinking, that. Make the work 192 times harder, that’s the Rethug way.

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