Viewpoint: Message from President: We Don't Need Permission from the United Nations
Vol: 7 Issue: 7 - Friday, March 07, 2003
Twenty-four hours after the French and Russians threatened a veto, and some fourteen hours before Hans Blix was scheduled to give his latest (and probably last) report to the UN regarding Iraq's disarmament 'progress' President Bush lobbed the ball back into the UN's court in a prime time speech in which he said it would be nice if the UN went along, but that America will act even if the UN does not.
"If we need to act we will act and we really don't need United Nations' approval to do so," he said. "It's time for people to show their cards, to let the world know where they stand when it comes to Saddam."
The president, who is universally disparaged as an 'arrogant cowboy' by the liberal press, made it clear in his speech that the decision to go to war has been made, albeit reluctantly.
Bush said in last night's nationally televised news conference that he would insist on a vote on a resolution authorizing war regardless of the prospects for the vote's success.
"We want to see people stand up and say what their opinion is about Saddam Hussein and the utility of the United Nations Security Council. It's time for people to show their cards, to let the world know where they stand when it comes to Saddam," the president said.
"No matter what the whip count is, we're calling for the vote."
The president said the September 11 attacks "changed the strategic thinking, at least as far as I was concerned, for how to protect our country. My job is to protect the American people. ... September the 11th should say to the American people that we are now a battlefield, that weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a terrorist organization could be deployed here at home."
For that reason, the president said, "when it comes to our security, we really don't need anybody's permission."
The president's statement that America does not need permission from the UN when it comes to safeguarding America's security set off a new firestorm of criticism of the 'American cowboy' but the charges have lost much of their resonance.
It was that simple statement of fact that cut through the liberal argument. There aren't too many liberals who are prepared to directly argue that the United Nations rules America, although they obliquely suggest it at every opportunity.
Peter Jennings opened ABC's coverage of Bush's speech by clearly drawing a line in the sand between Americans and the 'Bush administration' and reinventing history to make his point early on.
“We’re going to begin this evening with the Bush administration and its allies. It is quite clear in Washington tonight that the administration is prepared to jeopardize its relations with several of its oldest and best friends in order to get its way about Iraq.”
For anyone interested in watching a media exercise in mind-control in action, Jennings' opening lines provide a classic example.
He begins by distancing the Bush administration from the rest of America, setting an "us against them" tone, but it is unclear who, in Jenning's view, would be 'us'.
As far as who 'them' might be, "it was the 'Bush administration and it's allies'.
Jennings opening remark made it abundantly clear that ABCNews sees the President of the United States as the leader of 'them' and not 'us'.
Jennings also makes it clear that in his view, (and yours, since more Americans get their news from ABC News than from any other source) it isn't about disarming Iraq, but is instead about the administration 'getting its way'. Jennings evidently forgot about the Gulf War and the 18 resolutions passed by the UN that the Bush administration is attempting to enforce.
Then he switches sides, referring obliquely to France and Germany
That seems kinda unclear, doesn't it?
Neither Paris nor Berlin qualify even obliquely as either 'old' or 'best' friends of this administration -- and it takes some pretty fancy historical prestidigitation to cast either of these nations as either old, or good friends to America.
The last time France showed any friendship toward Washington was when Lafayette came to the aid of GEORGE Washington in 1775. From that time forward, this alleged 'friendship' came in the form of calling for American aid.
American pilots in WWI called themselves the "Lafayette Escadrille" and announced upon arrival, "Lafayette, we are here."
That balanced the books. Now, what about that 'friendship' since? Twenty years after we helped the French defeat the Kaiser's hordes, the Vichy French government allied itself with Germany against America.
Until the Germans were beaten, when the French once again became our friends, just in time to win the war.
Both those wars were with the "Bush administration's" other 'friends' the Germans, if you will recall. Our old friendship with Germany goes all the way back to the German Hessians who fought against us during the American Revolution.
It is clear, from Jennings' perspective, that those who oppose American action against Saddam are 'old friends', while those nations who are part of the coalition of the willing are not America's friends, but are instead allies of the 'Bush administration'.
Remember, "more Americans get their news from ABC News than from any other source."
That's a scary thought, but it explains a lot, doesn't it?
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