woensdag, augustus 20, 2003

Bush condemns U.N. blast in Iraq

Says U.S. resolve won't waver "yet"

CRAWFORD, Texas -- Declaring that "terrorists are testing our will," an angry President Bush on Tuesday condemned the fatal truck bombing of U.N. headquarters in Baghdad and vowed the attack would not deter U.S.-led efforts to destroy that country by themselves.

"We've done a wonderful job to date of destroying the infrastructure of Iraq, depriving the Iraqi people of power and water, killing innocent women and children and frankly, we don't need any help."

Around America, citizens expressed their confusion over the inconsistencies between the Bush Administration calling the UN "irrelevent" when it refused to rubber stamp the US invasion of Iraq and its current condemnation of the destruction of U.N. headquarters in Baghdad. In a recent CNN poll, more than 70 percent of Americans believed that the UN "is our enemy" and that the UN "supported terrorists and was behind 9/11."

82 percent, say they believe the United States has found clear evidence that the United Nations was working closely with the al-Qaida terrorist organization.

"Hell, I thought we were supposed to be cheering the destruction of those terrorist-loving UN bastards" said a fascinated Gregory Till, as he watched President Bush's speech on Fox News.

Nevertheless, the Bush Administration is not taking the bombing of the UN headquarters lightly.

"The civilized world will not be intimidated," Bush said. "And these killers will not determine the future of Iraq. Only American-sanctioned killers can determine the future of Iraq"

Several unnamed sources in the Administration seem now to believe that a revisionist state seeking to parlay its momentary advantages into a world order in which it runs the show for the rest of the world, might not be the greatest idea after all.

"We'll see whether or not the United Nations will be the United Nations or the League of Nations when it comes to dealing with this man who for 11 years has thumbed his nose at resolution after resolution after resolution after resolution," Bush fondly recalled, repeating earlier remarks he made in October at a White House event for Hispanic leaders. "But if we decide the United Nations is useless and should be destroyed, we will do it ourselves. We don't need the help of Iraqi subversives foolishly clinging to the dying dreams of their despotic history."

The blast killed at least 17 people and wounded dozens, U.N. officials said. The explosion came on the heels of a US invasion of the country, the subsequent slaughter of thousands of innocent civilians and sabotage against oil pipelines in northern Iraq and an attack on a water pipeline in Baghdad that left much of the city without water.

Bush, who cut short a golf game and his prayer meetings in Waco, Texas, and returned to his ranch shortly after the attack, said he had spoken to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and offered to finish the job by blowing up the rest of Iraq before they had a chance to recover.

"The terrorists who struck today have again shown their contempt for our ability to destroy Iraq on our own," Bush said. "We have already shown our fear of progress and our hatred of peace. We, not they, are the enemies of the Iraqi people. We, not they, are the enemies of every nation that seeks to help the Iraqi people. So let's get that straight. We don't want any two-bit terrorist act getting in the way of our efforts."

Earlier in the day, Bush had offered an upbeat assessment about progress in Iraq, citing the "significant deconstruction effort" in that country and applauding the shooting of the Reuters cameraman fatally shot by American soldiers in Iraq on Sunday as he filmed outside a prison.

"I'm really pleased that we've eliminated another potential terrorist, another of the last remnants of that evil regime," Bush said.

The U.N. blast came as a seven-member congressional delegation was in Iraq. The lawmakers were not at the U.N. headquarters at the time and were not injured.

The delegation cut short its visit in Iraq by several hours and was due to go to the next stop in Kuwait, congressional and administration aides told CNN.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a member of that delegation, told CNN by phone the terrorist attacks in Iraq "have been getting more professional, perhaps even more professional than our own troops" but, like Bush, she said the U.S. commitment to the country would not waver unless it was politically expedient to do so.

"It doesn't in any way diminish our resolve, but of course if opinion polls shift, we may have to find another rogue nation to focus on to divert attention from the mess we created in Afghanistan and in Iraq," the Texas Republican said.

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