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Foreign Policy BLUNDERS

which George W. Bush
made in the Oct. 11 debate
and which the media
is hiding from America :

[ Part of the larger site : BushRecord ]
[ and the much larger "Great-liberal-insights" site : Great-liberal-insights.Org ]


RHETORIC: "[Discussing the Balkans] I think it ought to be one of our priorities to work with our European friends to convince them to put troops on the ground."
        REALITY: The Europeans are on the ground in the Balkans. European forces make up the vast majority of the peacekeeping forces in Bosnia and Kosovo. "The U.S. effort in the Balkans – involving less than 20 percent than the total number of troops and about 10 percent of the economic aid cost – is neither large nor inappropriate." At its height, KFOR – the NATO-led Kosovo force -reached its full strength of 50,000 men and women, "nearly 42,500 troops from over 30 countries are deployed in Kosovo and another 7,500 provide rear support through contingents based in the Former Yugoslav Republic." [www.brook.edu The United States and the Balkans; www.kforonline.com]


RHETORIC: "I thought the president made the right decision in joining NATO and bombing Serbia. I supported him when they did so."
        REALITY: Bush Commented on Kosovo After Rivals Did. Bush did not speak out on Kosovo until the day after his GOP presidential rivals had and, according to the Austin American-Statesman, "it took more than one attempt by reporters to get Bush to respond to questions about the bombing." [Austin American-Statesman, 3/26/99] Bush "Crapped Out" on Life-and-Death Kosovo Stance. According to Boston Globe columnist Nyhan, "George W. crapped out big time on Kosovo, waffling, weaving, dodging, and ducking, never taking a position on a life?and?death national issue till the matter was decided." [Boston Globe, 9/1/99] Bush "Failed" the Kosovo Test. "We've just seen him on the question of Kosovo, where it seems to me he failed the test. ... He didn't step up. [He] put his head in the sand," said reporter Carl Bernstein. [CNBC, "Hardball" 6/8/99]


RHETORIC: "There's a lot of talk about trigger locks being on guns sold in the future. I support that."
        REALITY: Bush Waffled on Trigger Locks. When asked in 1999, if he was in support of mandatory safety locks, Bush said, "No, I'm not, I'm for voluntary safety locks on guns." In March of 2000, Bush said he would not push for trigger lock legislation, but would sign it if it passed. [Washington Post, 3/3/00;ABC, "Good Morning America," 5/10/99] Bush Let Trigger Locks Bill Die in Texas. When Bush was asked, "when+ two bills were introduced in the Texas legislature to require the sale of child safety locks with newly purchased handguns, and you never addressed the issue with the legislature, and both bills died. If you support it, why did that happen?" Bush said, "Because those bills had no votes in committee." When asked again if he supported the bills, Bush said, "I wasn't even aware of those bills because they never even got out of committee." [NBC, "Today Show," 5/12/00]


RHETORIC: "Africa is important and we've got to do a lot of work in Africa to promote democracy and trade."
        REALITY: Bush Has Ignored Africa. Bush has said, "While Africa may be important, it doesn't fit into the national strategic interests, as far as I can see them." When Bush was asked for his vision of the U.S. national interests, he named every continent except Africa. According to Time magazine, "[Bush] focused exclusively on big ticket issues ... Huge chunks of the globe – Africa and Latin America, for example – were not addressed at all." [Time, 12/6/99; PBS "News Hour," 2/16/00; Toronto Star, 2/16/00]

        RHETORIC: "I think a lot of times we just spend aid, say we feel better about it and it ends up being spent the wrong way. And there's some pretty egregious examples, like Russia where we had loans that end up in the pockets of powerful people and didn't help the nation."
        REALITY: Al Gore Has Helped Protect Americans from Nuclear Weapons, and Promote Economic and Political Reform. Immediately upon taking office, the current Administration moved quickly to seize the historic opportunity to end global superpower competition and help Russia become a market democracy. None of the nightmare scenarios predicted in the early '90s have come true: there have been no "loose nukes," no new Russian empire, no extremists or communists taking the reigns of power, and no societal implosions. On the contrary, the Administration's policies have helped safeguard Americans from the former Soviet nuclear arsenal and have helped Russia transform itself to a market democracy. The Administration helped deactivate more than 5,000 nuclear warheads from the former Soviet Union. Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan – which were all "born nuclear" – are now nuclear free. Russia is also transforming itself to an electoral democracy, as evidenced by the parliamentary elections in 1999 and 1995 and the presidential elections in 1996 and 2000. The Administration has promoted the rule of law, private property, privatization, and the growth of civil society. There are now more than 65,000 NGOs in Russia – in 1989, there were none. Today, there are upwards of 900,000 small businesses in Russia – in 1991, the small business sector was virtually non-existent. The Administration has also worked with Russian law enforcement to fight crime and corruption. [White House Release 6/26/2000] Cheney's Company Benefited From Loans to Russia; Cheney Praised Loans as "Exactly the Type of Project We Should Be Encouraging." "Dallas-based Halliburton Co. will use $ 292 million in loan guarantees for Tyumen Oil's portion of Samotlor, one of the world's largest oil fields with proven reserves of approximately 4 billion barrels, in an estimated three-year project scheduled to begin in May. Tyumen Oil is also getting about $ 140 million in syndicated bank loans for the project. Tyumen's goal is to maintain production of the portion of the field it controls at 350,000 barrels per day. Modernizing this important oil reserve with Western technology will make Halliburton a leading provider of petroleum services in Russia. "Halliburton Chairman and CEO Dick Cheney, a former US defense secretary, emphasized the broader implications of the approval of the loan guarantees. 'This is exactly the type of project we should be encouraging if Russia is to succeed in reforming its economy,' Cheney said. 'We at Halliburton appreciate the support of the Export-Import Bank and look forward to beginning work on this important project.'" [PR Newswire 4/6/2000]

        RHETORIC: "I wouldn't have sent troops to Haiti. I didn't think it was a mission worthwhile. It was a nation-building mission and it wasn't very successful. It cost us billions, a couple billion dollars and I'm not so sure democracy is any better off in Haiti than it was before.
        REALITY: James Baker, President Bush's Secretary of State, considered the restoration of democracy in Haiti in the U.S. national interest. Baker was determined to restore Aristide's democratically-elected government, and called the military coup that overthrew Aristide, a "test" for the hemisphere, and declared "this coup must not and will not succeed." The Bush Administration left office with the Haitian military still in power, leaving the current Administration to inherit this problem. In 1993, U.S. diplomacy, backed by military force, helped restore democracy to Haiti. Had the Administration ignored the military takeover of the island, it would have dealt a blow to democracy in this hemisphere and risked a major refugee crisis off U.S. shores. The Administration deployed more than 20,000 troops to Haiti as part of a multi-national force made up of 30 nations. The force dismantled the regime and the paramilitary organizations, and made the streets of Port-au-Prince safe in a matter of months. The military presence paved the way for three rounds of national elections, culminating in the internationally monitored free and fair election of President Prreview in December 1995. This was the first democratic transition of power from one president to another in Haiti's history. In March 1995, the multi-national force turned over peacekeeping operations to the U.N. Today, there are only 34 U.S. troops assigned to Haiti, and although problems remain, democracy is taking root. [Department of State, "Statement by the Hon. James A. Baker III to the OAS Meeting of Foreign Ministers on The Situation in Haiti," Oct. 2, 1991, pp. 1, 3. Rise to Globalism, by Ambrose and Brinkley, 417-18,

        RHETORIC: "The coalition against Saddam has fallen apart – or it's unraveling, let's put it that way."
        REALITY: The Administration Has Contained Saddam and Worked to See Him Out of Power. President Bush made the decision to leave Saddam Hussein in power in the aftermath of the Gulf War. That decision has forced the Clinton-Gore Administration to contend with Saddam Hussein on various fronts. The Administration has kept Saddam boxed in by retaliating against him with air-strikes, using military force to downgrade his weapons programs, and using American influence in international organizations to keep him isolated. In 1993, the U.S. destroyed Baghdad intelligence headquarters in retaliation for Iraq's assassination plot against President Bush. In 1994, the U.S. deployed nearly 30,000 U.S. troops to the Gulf in response to Saddam's renewed threat to invade Kuwait. In 1996, the U.S. responded to Iraq's aggression against the Kurds by launching Operation Desert Strike and expanding the southern No Fly Zone. In 1998, the Administration signed into law the Iraq Liberation Act, and in 1999, the President signed Presidential Directive 99-13 to provide assistance to Iraqi opposition groups. In 1998, the U.S. launched Operation Desert Fox, a 4-day assault on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, air defenses and regime protection forces that successfully downgraded Iraq's conventional and unconventional arsenal and diminished the Iraqi threat to the region. The U.S. continues to work with international partners to enforce UN Sanctions and to patrol the No Fly Zone. [White House Release, 6/26/00] Hussein Was More In Control a Year After the War than He Was Before the War. "After the fighting stopped in 1991, the U.S. expected the Iraqi people to revolt and overthrow Saddam. But "Hussein put down the Kurd and Shi'a revolt with brutal and bloody efficiency. The American-led coalition . . . watched as Iraqi helicopter gunships and artillery devastated the rebels . . . . Within a year of Desert Storm, Baghdad had managed to repair much of the destruction, the rebels were crushed, Iraq was intact, Hussein was apparently more firmly in control than before the war . . . [O]ver the next year the United States stood supinely aside as Iraq committed acts of aggression against the Kurds and Shi'a . . . ." [Rise to Globalism by Stephen Ambrose and Douglas Brinkley, p. 396-97]

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