Sunday, August 06, 2006

Blair, In London, Offers Optimism About UN Resolution. Bush, In Crawford, Provides Much Less

British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Friday that he would delay his summer vacation for a few days to help secure a United Nations resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah.

Why didn't President Bush think of that?

***

A draft of the UN resolution was agreed to by the U.S. last night.

The reaction from Washington, er Crawford, was far more negative than from London.

While Bush said he was "happy with the progress being made," White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, with the president at his private ranch in Texas, offered "I don't think (President Bush) has any delusions about what lies ahead."

Is that code for "The UN is useless, and this resolution won't change squat"?

Meanwhile, Blair praised the resolution as "an important first step in bringing this tragic crisis to an end."

"The priority now is to get the resolution adopted as soon as possible, and then to work for a permanent cease-fire and achieve the conditions in Lebanon and Israel which will prevent a recurrence," Blair said.

***

The combination of events suggest the image of a disengaged president, unwilling to offer Americans much leadership during the current crisis.

Bush was heavily criticized last year for a similar disengagement, when Bush took four days to arrive on the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina. That type of disengagement contrasted sharply with President Clinton, who canceled appearances to respond to a 1996 hurricane, and cut short his attendance at a new Zealand conference to respond to a 1999 hurricane.

Prime Minister Blair, meanwhile, presents an image of a leader willing to put aside his personal needs to address a crisis, and then respond to events with the optimistic, but realistic tone that no doubt will make the British feel that things will soon turn around for Israel and Lebanon.

15 Comments:

Anonymous trinity said...

David R. Mark said...
"Is that code for "The UN is useless, and this resolution won't change squat"?"


Sounds about right to me, David. Why? Are you saying that the U.N. is NOT useless? And that the resolution WILL change something? And if so, what do you base that assessment upon? The U.N.'s sterling reputation for solving the world's problems? Or the dozens of resolutions that the U.N. has failed to enforce in the past?

Hard to believe that anyone would have any confidence or even hope that this paper tiger is capable of solving any of the world's problems.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous whoop4467 said...

Trinity - What I read into this post is that GWB just like you does not have any confidence in the U.N. and since the U.N. can not/will not do anything about world peace, then GWB will not/can not do anything about it. His hands are tied because not only has the U.N. lost its influence, but the world no longer has confidence in GWB and his influence. Therefore, GWB might as well go to his ranch, clear some some brush, "milk some horses", ride around his ranch looking for WMD's and do a few photo ops while waiting for the Lord to return to get his due punishment for raping the American people.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Whoop, you can read whatever you like into my posts. I don't much care what assumptions you might make. What Bush-haters think is irrelevant. You are a one-trick pony. A Johnny-one-note. A walking cliche.

President Bush is doing exactly what he should be doing. Getting out of the way while giving Israel enough time to hopefully do what it needs to do to ensure its very survival.

And once again, you gloss over the substance of the entire point of my post, which is, the U.N., and its uselessness. Are you conceding the fact that the U.N. has no teeth, and that the reason Israel has to fight today is because the U.N. failed to enforce its Resolution 1550? Or would you like to defend the U.N.'s reputation? Or do you just want to attack Bush some more? Gee, let me guess. :rolleyes:

4:04 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

That should read, "UN Resolution 1559" in the post above.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous MrToffeeLovesYa said...

Trinity, my compadre, once again you have hit the nail on the head.

As I wrote a while back, conservatives know there can be no lasting, meaningful peace without lasting, meaningful peace. As my comrade-in-arms Trinity says, what good is a piece of paper saying "stop fighting" if no one is going to read it? What good is shuttle diplomacy if none of the key players want to participate?

President Bush can't be bothered with the UN, because conservatives only see the UN as an anti-Israel, anti-US, fraudulent body. That's why our ambassador is John Bolton, a guy who has said he doesn't think the UN should exist. Take notice, liberals. The Bush Administration has made it clear it has no faith in the UN, and could care less if it shuts down tomorrow. If that weakens U.S. credibility during crisis like the one facing Israel, too bad. Pow!

It's simple math, liberal America. If Bush seems half-hearted in his endorsement of this resolution, that's no accident. He's expecting quarter-hearted results, or worse.

Wake up and smell the reality, liberals. The Bush doctrine in this crisis is clear. We support Israel. We don't support terrorists. It's a very good guy/bad guy situation. Just like with Iraq. And the best way for us to support Israel is to leave them alone. They already have our armaments. And the best way for us not to support terrorists is to say to Iran and Syria, "stop supporting terrorists." We won't have lasting, meaningful peace until Iran and Syria listen, so there's not much more for President Bush to do in the interim. If the UN is so mighty and powerful, let them bring their buddies in Iran and Syria to the negotiating table, because Bush sure isn't.

Does it really matter if Bush repeats his opinion on Israel and Hezbollah while he's clearing brush, riding his trail bike, golfing or cutting logs, rather than at a photo-op from the Oval Office with Blair, other NATO leaders, or leaders of moderate-Arab states? C'mon, liberals. Clearly President Bush knows that the nature of the photo-op doesn't change the nature of his message. Why should liberals expect anything different? Pow!

5:20 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Do you people still doubt which side this dope is on? He's all yours. Trust me. The right wouldn't even want him. He's a simpleton. A boring simpleton.

6:13 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

Trinity, you may not like MrToffee's goofy use of "Pow" and his hyperbolic catch-phrases, but he hardly sounds like a liberal.

Point is, the UN may not be the best answer, but in the absence of true leadership from the Bush Administration, it's the only answer. Blair is trying to make a difference, while Bush is relying on his typical cowboy toughness-as-policy.

To quote from the movie "The American President":

"People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

So sure, get upset with the UN. It's made lots of mistakes. But unless Bush can provide a better answer -- and that answer doesn't come while clearing brush on the ranch -- then in the vacuum that is created, the UN resolution is at least something to discuss. It may not be the best answer -- it may be far from the best answer -- but Bush isn't providing another tangible avenue for people (American or otherwise) to rally behind.

7:17 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

rob of wilmington, del. said...
"Trinity, you may not like MrToffee's goofy use of "Pow" and his hyperbolic catch-phrases, but he hardly sounds like a liberal."


Rob, MrToffee fancies himself to be a satirist or something. He's not a conservative. He's a big dopey, goofy lib pretending to be a conservative, and he has all of you guys fooled. (sigh) I think he thinks he is being clever. Somebody should clue him in, because he's failing miserably. Then again, he has fooled the bunch of you, so maybe he's getting his jollies from that.

As far as your comments about the U.N., rob, I appreciate your sincerity, but I disagree entirely with your assertion that President Bush is lacking in true leadership.

Your criticism is that he needs to do something that will help to bring about a ceasefire between Hezbollah and Israel. I'm not buying into that premise because it's flawed.

Bush very definitely is showing courage and leadership by not allowing anyone to pressure him into hamstringing the Israelis before they push Hezbollah back to the Litani River, or to whatever point they feel they need to, in order to ensure that Hezbollah rockets will not reach Israel.

I asked elsewhere, but got no response. Perhaps you can give me one. How does it benefit Israel to sign onto a ceasefire prematurely? Before they secure a sufficient enough buffer zone, and before Hezbollah is disarmed? If Hezbollah broke U.N. Resolution 1559, after Israel in good faith got out of Southern Lebanon in 2000, why should Israel expect Hezbollah to honor any sort of ceasefire now? Has something changed that I'm not aware of?

9:26 PM  
Anonymous whoop4467 said...

Trinity - I know you do not give a Dam. There are three things that I have agreed with you on this Web! 1. I agreed with you on the immigration problem. 2. I agree with you on what Israel has to do for them to achieve peace and I do hope they do not give up on this goal. 3. I agree with you that Mr T is not a conservative. But he is not a Liberal.
But apparently we are 180 degree out of sync about this Administration. I feel this is the worst group that have run this country. Not that it matters what I feel today, but I did vote for Reagan twice ( but after reading more about him the more I have regretted both). I voted for Nixon twice and I have asked God's forgiveness for both votes. As John Dean has said this Administration is worse than Watergate. I also voted for Bush senior once, but that is the last time I have voted for a Republican. I can not think of one good thing that GWB and has party has done that benefits me and that includes my security. I feel really safe with wide open borders, wide open ports, un-funded first responders, with only one major country(Britian) supporting us, with the war fever of the neo-cons who with the other Republicans will not be active in support of a war by enlisting in the military unless the draft is brought back, with the debt we are accrueing that would affect our ability to conduct an effective response, with lack of college funding so we can have an intelligent fighting force if we need one, and the current lack of interest in diplomacy.
I could tell you many things this Administration has done that is bad for me, but it would take two pages. The one thing that you may not be aware of is a change made to SS benefits that affected retired teachers. This law was passed in March of 2004 and signed by GWB. Prior to the Republican law a retired teacher could receive benefits from their spouse's SS if they worked at least one day at a faclity that withdraws teacher retirement and SS funds at least one day before they retired. This law went into effect in July 2004. The only way for my wife to receive any benefit from my SS ( I work for a College where I pay SS and teacher retirement) was to work for 5 years in a job where they paid into both. In Texas the only place that does both is the college system ( which usually requires a Masters's degree in your field which my wife has), but then the state retirement system does not allow a retiree to work full time without a severe retirement pay penality. So for my wife to get half of my SS upon my death, she needed to retire in 2004 when she wanted to teach for five more years. We computed that she would have had to work for 10 more years to get her retirement income to level of what it would be after my death. All of this to save a few bucks because not all teachers knew about the previous law and also did not have the chance to work the one day in a facility to get the original benefit. An example of how the Republicans do things to take from the little guy to give to the wealthy.

10:38 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

whoop4467 said...
"Trinity - I know you do not give a Dam."


I wouldn't say that, whoop. I just get so tired of hearing nothing but Bush-bashing, 24/7, whether deserved, as in some cases, or not, as in most cases. Even a broken clock is right 2X a day, but the president's critics won't even give him that. It's tedious already.

Well, I'm glad we can agree on a few issues at least. That's more like it. Average people simply cannot disagee on every single damn thing! It's just not possible. :)

If MrToffee is not a conservative, but not a liberal either, then what is he? Besides a crackpot I mean?

As far as this administration goes, I guess you are right. We're out of sync. Because I certainly cannot agree that this is the worst bunch we've ever had in the White House.

As for John Dean. Please, don't even bring him up. The man is a snake. (IMO, all right?) ;)

As for the specifics you mention, you know I agree with you on the "open border" issue. But I think you're probably making the mistake of believing that the Dems would be better about protecting our borders. You can believe that if you want to. I don't.

And I think if you checked, since you keep bringing it up, you would find that the majority of people who make up the military are Republicans, not Democrats, which would explain why Gore tried so hard to disenfranchise the military absentee ballots down in Florida in the 2000 Election.

With regard to the national debt, I would say that although revenues have increased because the marginal tax rates were lowered, this Congress is definitely spending way too much money. Of course, much of this is being spent on the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Since we disagree on at least one of those conflicts, we obviously look at those expenditures differently.

I hope your comment re: our fighting force wasn't meant to imply that our current military is not intelligent and/or educated, because the fact is that on average, this is one of the most highly educated militaries we've ever had in our nation's history.

Social Security, like so many other issues, did not suddenly come into being with this President. While I would be the first to admit that the subject makes my eyes glaze over, I will just say that SS is a ponzi scheme, which is finally getting to the point of collapse. Hence, President Bushs attempt to privatize it to a certain extent.

Unfortunately, all your side offered was obstructionism. They wouldn't agree to private accounts under any circumstances, nor to any changes in benefits, nor to negotiations or discussions, nor do they have a plan of their own to offer.

And the cowards on the right, they won't go up against the AARP lobby and other special interest groups. So we're at a stalemate.

Of course, I can understand, if the Bush Administration changed some policy that personally affected your family's retirement plan in a negative way, why you would be upset about it. How can I say you're wrong to feel the way you do about that? I can't.

Neither am I'm knowledgeable enough to even discuss that with you. The way you describe it, I would be upset as well if I were you. Still, I give Bush credit for at least trying to tackle the broader issue of fixing the ailing SS system. Another president, who will go unnamed, had promised during his campaign to fix it as well, but never did.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

Trinity, I agree with the premise that we shouldn't just have a ceasefire for the sake of having a ceasefire.

But I think the point JABBS is making, which I also agree with, is that Bush isn't really giving any leadership as to how we get from Point A to Point B.

It's one thing to say Bush shouldn't feel pressured into "hamstringing the Israelis before they push Hezbollah back to the Litani River." Fine. But shouldn't Bush be working on some sort of larger gameplan that starts with "once the Israelis have pushed Hezbollah back, then blah will happen" -- with blah being some sort of pressure on Iran and/or Syria to sit down with the U.S., NATO, Russia, etc. -- the same people who agreed to the roadmap back in 2002 -- and say, "this is how we are going to get this done, so that we don't wind up having a wider regional war."

Like JABBS said, and he's not the first, the appearance is that Bush is talking tough, but that his talk isn't being backed by any action. This administration, perhaps better than any other, understand the power of image and framing the message. But it seems as though with the current crisis, the administration isn't making much effort on either of those fronts.

12:08 AM  
Anonymous whoop4467 said...

Trinity - If you read more of what I have said you will be able to figure out who I voted for in 1992 and 1996 and it was not Clinton. I did not like Clinton at the time. Times and things change. You are tired of what you say is Bush basing 24/7. It is like your feeling that anyone that diagrees with you is a fool or is maronic. Our politics should not be tit-for-tat but it started with this level it is today with Nixon. If you are tired of Bush bashing 24/7, then you can appreciate what happened to Clinton during his years of service and continues today when he no longer has the same influence. The legislative "do nothing" republicans and the Republican party of that era spent the 24/7 for the entire 8 yrs trying to tear Clinton down. They spent $100M of our money digging into every tangent incident that had a 1% tie to Clinton. They tried sexual exploits, they tried the Whitewater land deals Clinton had no part of(You can read Susan Mcdugal's book), they tried everyway possible to prove Vince Foster was murdered by the Clinton's, they tried to make a federal case about the "Travel Gate" incident, they ripped the Clintons in their effort to get universal health care, etc,etc. I know this needs to stop, but GWB is not a leader, only a puppet of the wealthy.
You say democrats have no solution for SS. You know better. It is not something that you or the Republicans want to support. It does not make the big busniess wealthier by their getting all of the SS fund money to play with. Here are some numbers:
Assume the Avg salary in America is $50k ( which is approx $600 SS per month/ , there are 300 Million Americans (assume 50% work). That means over $1.08 trillion is collected in SS funds per yr ( this does not include medicaid/medicare). Big business would like to have that no doubt. The government gets it and uses it for general revenue instead of putting it in a safe place to be used for its intended use. Then they say the fund is hurting. They play games with the American people that the fund is runing out of money because they are poor stewards of our money. The Democrat proposed solution is three-fold: 1. Pay on the first $100k of pay 2. Increase the % of tax by a very small amount 3. Secure the fund for its intended use. This change is peanuts to many Americans and it is less than peanuts for the very wealthy. Those making over $100k per yr will not feel it anyway. What makes the whole subject such a sour taste is the fact that at least 75% of Americans know the government is a poor keeper of the fund. If people are such proud Americans why not sacrifice for the entire nation . But they also know the likes of Worldcom, Enron and many others. The amount of money from the SS fund is nothing I want to trust to money mangers that would charge high prices to oversee the investment and tempt them with such easy corruption.

2:01 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

rob of wilmington, del. said...
"Trinity, I agree with the premise that we shouldn't just have a ceasefire for the sake of having a ceasefire.

But I think the point JABBS is making, which I also agree with, is that Bush isn't really giving any leadership as to how we get from Point A to Point B."


Well, you're exactly right, rob. That is indeed exactly the point JABBS was making, and it's one I very much disagree with. And if you agree with David, then I guess I'm at odds with your view as well.

I really have a big problem with your logic. If, as you both say, you are against forcing a premature and meaningless ceasefire between Hezbollah and Israel, then I would argue that President Bush is doing exactly the correct thing, which is, in case it isn't obvious to you, buying Israel more time to push Hezbollah back far enough so that they cannot reach her with missiles. Is that not a desirable goal, in your view?

Also, are you aware that Israel has said that they will not agree to a cease-fire in Lebanon until Hezbollah is completely disarmed to the point that it can no longer operate as a militia? Do you agree with that goal? Or do you think Hezbollah should be permitted to operate as a "state within a state" in Lebonon?

Seriously, rob. What would you have the President do? Do you think he's wrong to insist that a ceasefire would be acceptable only under those conditions? Come on. It's not legitimate to criticize simply to criticize.

If we're truly Israel's friend, and I believe that we are, then we will not go along with those feckless nations that would force Israel to once again accept conditions that will result in their having to deal with Hezbollah yet again, in another year or two.

Again, I ask what you think Bush should do? Is he wrong to buy more time for Israel IYO?

12:12 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

whoop4467 said...
"Trinity - If you read more of what I have said you will be able to figure out who I voted for in 1992 and 1996 and it was not Clinton.


I know, whoop. I read what you posted. I never said that you voted for Clinton, did I? How would I know such a thing?

You do realize, however, that you are in a definite minority on this website, right? I think it would be safe to assume that most posters here did vote for Clinton. Or don't you think so? :)

As far as former Pres. Clinton is concerned, I don't hate him. I just don't have much respect for the man, and feel that his own lack of good character led to the bulk of his problems. He brought most of it upon himself by his personal behavior and his lying. I wish he would have the decency to just fade away already, rather than injecting himself into the politics of today.

whoop4467 said...
"The government gets it and uses it for general revenue instead of putting it in a safe place to be used for its intended use. Then they say the fund is hurting."


Exactly, whoop. President Johnson was the one responsible for that betrayal of trust of the American people, and as you probably know, once the government gets its hands on such a significant windfall, it's all but impossible to put the genie back in the bottle.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous whoop4467 said...

Trinity - I really consider myself an independent. I read about candidates to see if they support my major goals. I was not picky enough in the past and have since read more political books than in all of my early years combined. Even though I did not vote for Clinton and I was not happy about his sexual tryst and his subsequent lie about it, but imo compared to this Bush Administration I now see why God loved David ( A murderer) and considered him a great person. I will say that Clinton's so public sexual tryst did hurt the Democrtic party and did hurt Clinton's stature amongst the right-wing and the Republicans. But I do not understand the lack of forgiveness by so many Republicans for Clinton when it was a well kept secret that Bush senior had sexual trysts with his secretary. The Republicans did a better job of keeping that from the public and his son is doing it futher by his executive order to keep all of the information unavailable.
You surely have figured it out by now, but If had it to do over again I would vote for Clinton. It is GWB that has, in my eyes, increased my opinion of Clinton. At this point I am very pleased with myself that I did not vote for GWB either time. Nothing against you, but GWB does not have good social skills and it is so obvious. He only cares about those that are very wealthy. Katrina showed that without a doubt. I think he is simply a puppet of Dick Chaney and BIG BUSINESS. I believe his stated religious beliefs are more for political effect due to the Clinton fiasco than moral footing. He can be for so many things that make the right-wing happy (like saying he is a Christian), but he shows so little concern for the poor. As I said in an earlier post, there is nothing that his adminstration has done to benefit me( including providing security). So far all of the signed bills have provided a huge jackpot for BIG BUSINESS; Wars being one of the ways, the new drug bill, the highway construction bill, the energy bill, the lack of support for global warming, the tax breaks ( My wife and got very little), wage increase for congress and his staff but not for the working class, and on and on.

2:56 AM  

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