News

Bush Has Confidence in Iraqi Government, Calls Human Rights Report 'Absurd'

George W. Bush
President Bush says an Iraqi military offensive to stop violence around the capital, Baghdad, is a positive step that shows the country is moving closer to handling more of its own security. Mr. Bush is dismissing allegations by Amnesty International that U.S. abuse of Iraqi prisoners has given other nations license to violate human rights with impunity.

President Bush says he is heartened to see Iraq's government committing 40,000 soldiers and police to an anti-insurgency operation around Baghdad.

In a Rose Garden news conference, Mr. Bush called it a sign that Iraqi leaders understand that it is ultimately their own responsibility to stop an insurgency which the president says fears democracy.

"What you are seeing is a group of frustrated and desperate people who kill innocent life, and obviously we mourn the loss of every life," he said. "But I believe the Iraqi government is going to be plenty capable of dealing with them, and our job is to help train them so they can."

Mr. Bush says it is important for Americans to understand that a democratic Iraq at the heart of the Middle East is an essential part in securing the United States and promoting peace in the long run.

He says democracy in Iraq will be a powerful example in what he calls a neighborhood desperate for freedom, and it is important for America to complete the mission.

President Bush dismissed criticism from Amnesty International that what it calls Washington's "blatant disregard for international human rights" makes a mockery of the president's claim that America is a global champion of human rights.

Amnesty's annual report says war crimes in Iraq and what it calls "mounting evidence of the torture and ill-treatment of detainees in U.S. custody in other countries" sends an unequivocal message to the world that human rights may be sacrificed in the name of security.

President Bush says those allegations are absurd, pointing to the ongoing prosecution of some of those involved in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal as evidence of America's commitment to transparency and human rights.

"The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world," he said. "When there are accusations made about certain actions by our people, they are fully investigated in a transparent way. It is just an absurd allegation."

Mr. Bush says thousands of people have been detained in the fight against terrorism and all allegations of abuse have been investigated. He says it seems like some of the Amnesty report is based on the word of people who hate America and have been trained to lie.

Amnesty says Washington's treatment of detainees continues to display what it calls a "marked ambivalence" to the opinions of the International Committee of the Red Cross and to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs