News

    Bush Backs Iraqi Leader in Speech to US Veterans

    U.S. President George Bush says he supports Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The president's statement came in a speech Wednesday that followed calls by a U.S. senator for replacing the government in Baghdad. VOA White House correspondent Scott Stearns reports, the president is hoping to restore public support for the war in Iraq by comparing that fight to past American intervention in East Asia.

    President Bush says many people are frustrated by the slow pace of political progress in Iraq, and he understands that.

    But he is rejecting criticism from the Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin, who says Iraq's parliament should remove the Maliki government because it has "totally and utterly failed."

    "Prime Minister Maliki is a good guy, a good man, with a difficult job. And I support him. And it is not up to the politicians in Washington, D.C. to say whether he will remain in his position. That is up to the Iraqi people who now live in a democracy and not a dictatorship," said Mr. Bush.

    Following a visit to Iraq this week, Senator Levin said the Maliki government cannot achieve a political settlement because it is too bound by its own sectarian prejudices.

    Speaking Wednesday, at the close of a three-day visit to Syria, Prime Minister Maliki told reporters that no one has the authority to impose a timetable on the Iraqi government as its power emanates from the Iraqi people and only they can decide its fate. He accused U.S. politicians of making irresponsible statements and criticisms that he said lacked courtesy.

    President Bush had given a less-than-ringing endorsement of the prime minister Tuesday, saying that if the Iraqi government does not respond to the demands of the people, they will replace it. White House officials say the president was just "reporting the facts" and sought to clarify those remarks in his speech Wednesday.

    In his latest comments, Mr. Bush compared Iraq to previous U.S. battles in Asia, saying the ideals that led America to help establish democracy in post-World War II Japan are the same ones that keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    The president also compaired critics of his Iraq policy with skeptics of U.S. intervention on the Korean peninsula, saying that back then, as now, some argued that the war was futile and troops should come home.

    "The defense strategy that refused to hand the South Koreans over to a totalitarian neighbor helped raise up an Asian Tiger that is a model for developing countries across the world, including the Middle East," he said. "And the fruit of American sacrifice and perseverance in Asia is a freer, more prosperous, and stable continent - whose people want to live in peace with America - not attack America."

    Opposition Democrats say the president is wrong to compare Iraq with past conflicts in Asia because he is ignoring fundamental differences.

    In a written statement, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Bush administration misled the American people into the war under the false pretense of weapons of mass destruction, leading to what Reid calls "one of the worst foreign policy blunders in our history."

    The president says there are certainly differences between the last century's fighting in East Asia and the current battle against terrorism. But he says at their core, they are all struggles of ideology.

    "The militarists of Japan and the Communists in Korea and Vietnam were driven by a merciless vision for the proper ordering of humanity," said Mr. Bush. "They killed Americans because we stood in the way of their attempt to force their ideology on others. Today, the names and places have changed, but the fundamental character of the struggle has not changed."

    The president is hoping to rebuild public support for the war ahead of a report to Congress next month. The U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, and the top U.S. commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, will report on the impact of the president's January decision to send more troops to Iraq.

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora