George W. Bush on the World — Who Is the One Getting “Am-Bushed”? (Part 1)
What does U.S. President George W. Bush say about the world after his first months in office?
July 26, 2001
George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, has been in office for over six months now. More than virtually anybody expected, he has left his mark on the global stage. Here is the first installment of two Read My Lips features on President Bush. In this first part, we track what he himself has had to say so far about how he sees the world.
How do you assess your first trip to Europe as U.S. President?
“Ronald Reagan would have been proud of how I conducted myself. I went to Europe a humble leader of a great country — and I stood my ground. I wasn’t going to yield.”
What is your guiding principle in your dealings with U.S.-European relations?
“I refuse to let any issue isolate America from Europe.”
What is the main reason for that?
“When Europe and America are divided, history tends to tragedy. When Europe and America are partners, no trouble or tyranny can stand against us.”
Do you see a new era dawning for U.S.-European relations?
“It is time to put talk of East and West behind us.”
How do you view U.S. participation in the Kosovo peacekeeping forces?
“We came together — and we will leave together.”
How do you see Russia’s position?
“The Europe we are building must also be open to Russia.”
What was your impression of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin?
“I looked the man in the eye — and I was able to get a sense of his soul.”
How far advanced is Russia’s integration into Europe?
“Russia is part of Europe — and therefore does not need a buffer zone of insecure states separating it from Europe.”
How do you approach China?
“When we open trade, we open minds.”
Why are commercial relations to China so important?
“We trade with China because trade is good policy for our national security.”
What is the main problem with the current ballistic missile arrangement?
“It prevents freedom-loving people from exploring the future.”
(On why the 1972 ABM Treaty should be set aside, June 2001)
Why do you think is the ABM Treaty not sufficient?
“Today’s most urgent threat stems from a small number of states for whom terror and blackmail are a way of life. In such a world, Cold War deterrence is no longer enough to maintain peace, to protect our own citizens and our own allies and friends.”
Why did you reject the Kyoto Protocol?
“We will not do anything that harms our economy, because first things first are the people who live in America.”
(On his rejection of the Kyoto agreement, April 2001)
Why did you not believe in the agreement?
”The Kyoto Protocol is fatally flawed in fundamental ways.”
How do you justify this view before other nations?
“I appreciate your point of view — but this is the U.S. position because it’s right for America.”
What about complaints of a U.S. go-it-alone policy?
“Unilaterists don’t come around the table to listen to the others and to share opinion.”
Why would a U.S. retreat be disastrous?
“In a world that depends on America to reconcile old rivals and balance ancient ambitions, the temptation of withdrawal to build a proud tower of protectionism and isolationism is the shortcut to chaos.
How are you planning to woo your allies?
“My manner is not lecturing — it is hopeful and optimistic.”
Finally, President Bush, what is the underlying principle of U.S. international policy?
“A key to foreign policy is to rely on reliance”.
Urbi et Gorbi
July 25, 2001