Well, President George W. Bush has just provided a farewell indoctrination to the General Assembly of the United Nations, an organization for which he previously showed contempt by among other things appointing Bonkers Bolton to be our Ambassador three years ago while another organization for which he frequently showed contempt the United States Senate was in recess.
"For eight years, the nations in this assembly have worked together to confront the extremist threat. We witnessed successes and setbacks, and through it all a clear lesson has emerged: The United Nations and other multilateral organizations are needed more urgently than ever. To be successful, we must be focused and resolute and effective. Instead of only passing resolutions decrying terrorist attacks after they occur, we must cooperate more closely to keep terrorist attacks from happening in the first place. Instead of treating all forms of government as equally tolerable, we must actively challenge the conditions of tyranny and despair that allow terror and extremism to thrive. By acting together to meet the fundamental challenge of our time, we can lead toward a world that is more secure, and more prosperous, and more hopeful."
Well, its nice to know that Bushs speechwriters are willing to acknowledge that Bush may have learned at least one "lesson" from the "setbacks" occurring during his disastrous (by any standard) presidency. Namely, that in order to confront what he deemed to be "the fundamental challenge" to all UN member states in "our time," he needed but never got the support of the United Nations and similar organizations (such as the Organization of the Islamic Conference).
And what might that fundamental challenge be?
Why, terrorism, of course. Attacks on the United States, Israel, certain European states and our armies of occupation, resulting from some non-allied states such as Iran, Iran and Syria having intolerable regimes; at least to Bush, if not to the citizens thereof.
What to do?
Well, in his 2002 State of the Union Address, Bush boasted that he had just freed once such country Afghanistan from "brutal oppression" by the Taliban, a fundamentalist Islamic regime.
How brutal? Well, according to Bush "the mothers and daughters of Afghanistan were captives in their own homes, forbidden from working or going to school."
Actually, the Taliban had refused to "turn over" Osama bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi national, trained and supplied by the CIA, who fought with the Taliban to oust the Soviet troops then occupying Afghanistan. Ingrate bin Laden was now suspected of having sponsored the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center in 2001, ostensibly to protest American support of oppressive regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and elsewhere in the world of Islam.
But Bush had been unable to get the UN Security Council to authorize an invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, perhaps because the UN Charter doesnt sanction the invasion and occupation of a sovereign state for refusing "rendition," absent the presentation of "probable cause."
So, Bush got NATO an alliance of states pledged to come to one anothers defense whenever attacked to invade Afghanistan and depose the Taliban. Of course, Osama bin Laden was nowhere to be found and is suspected of having fled to and found safe haven in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.
Bush did establish a puppet government in Afghanistan, which now controls Kabul, the capital, but not much else. The Russians are very worried, because opium production and the drug trade, absent the Taliban, is now worse than ever. Furthermore, there have been reports of armed conflict between NATO forces and Pakistani military units inside Pakistan!
Now, it is an open secret that the CIA claims that it could have killed or captured bin Laden way back in 2001, if allowed to.
But No! For Bush the major threat to America then lay elsewhere.
Here is what he told the General Assembly six years ago.
"While there are many dangers in the world, the threat from Iraq stands alone because it gathers the most serious dangers of our age in one place. …
"The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists, a group he calls his “nuclear mujahideen” his nuclear holy warriors. …
"The conduct of the Iraqi regime is a threat to the authority of the United Nations, and a threat to peace. Iraq has answered a decade of U.N. demands with a decade of defiance. All the world now faces a test, and the United Nations a difficult and defining moment. Are Security Council resolutions to be honored and enforced, or cast aside without consequence? Will the United Nations serve the purpose of its founding, or will it be irrelevant?"
Why bring up this pack of outrageous lies Bush trotted out in an attempt to get authority from the Security Council to invade and occupy Iraq?
Well, if you substitute "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad" for Saddam Hussein, it all sounds to the Russians and the Chinese a lot like what Bush and both candidates to succeed him are now saying about Iran.