Thursday, June 30, 2005

Brits on Bush

Instapundit links to a great article and interview in the London Times with President Bush that comes days before a G8 summit in Britain. The money graph that Instapundit highlights:

In person Mr Bush is so far removed from the caricature of the dim, war-mongering Texas cowboy of global popular repute that it shakes one’s faith in the reliability of the modern media.
The article is interesting, if only for a glimpse into Bush's persona and conversation style. The interview, which Exi145 took the liberty of exerpting here, is more substantive.

Bush on aid to Africa:

First of all, the way I like to describe our relationship with Africa is one of partnership. That’s different than a relationship of cheque-writer.

In other words, partnership means that we’ve got obligations and so do the people we are trying to help . . . we have a partnership when it comes to African growth and opportunity. When you really think about how to get wealth distributed, aid is one way but it doesn’t compare to trade and commerce. And we’ve opened up markets and we’re beginning to see a payoff, more commerce.

Americans want to deal with poverty and hunger. Disease. But they don’t want their money spent on governments that do not focus attention on health, education, markets, anti-corruption devices. I can’t, in good faith, say, let’s continue to be generous but I can’t guarantee the money is being spent properly. It’s just not good stewardship of our own money, nor is it effective in helping people. Our approach, as well, has been when we see disaster, let’s move in to help people . . . I mean, I could proudly proclaim at the G8 that the US feeds more of the hungry than any nation in the world.

It is important for people to understand that the contribution of the citizens of the United States is made not only through taxpayers’ money but through private contributions. Our tax system encourages people to do this. My point to our friends in the G8 and to the African nations is that each country differs as to how we structure our taxes and how we contribute to help. And our contribution has been significant and there will be some more.
Bush on the 'idealist' label:

Frankly, I rejected the intellectual elitism of some around the world who say, “Well, maybe certain people can’t be free”. I don’t believe that. Of course I was labelled a, you know, blatant idealist.

But I am. Because I do believe people want to be free, regardless of their religion or where they are from. I do believe women should be empowered in the Middle East. I don’t believe we ought to accept forms of government that ultimately create a hopelessness that then can be translated into jihadist violence. And I believe strongly that the ultimate way you defeat an ideology is with a better ideology. And history has proven that.
Bush on Iran's nuclear ambitions:

(Iran) should not be able to develop the technologies that will enable the enrichment of uranium which will ultimately yield a nuclear weapon.

I say that because they tried to do that clandestinely before, which obviously shows that there’s a conspiratorial nature in their thinking. And secondly, that their stated objective is the destruction of Israel.

In diplomacy, it’s important to establish common goals. Once you establish a common goal and common objective, it then makes it much easier to work together to achieve diplomatic ends. Our common goal is that Iran should not have a nuclear weapon.
Bush on Blair:

The decisions we have made have laid the foundation of peace for generations. His decision-making was based upon what he thought was best for the free world, for Great Britain and the free world.

What doesn’t happen in our relationship is we sit down here and calculate how best we can help each other personally. Our job is to represent something greater than that.

I admire Tony Blair because he’s a man of his word. I admire Tony Blair because he’s a leader with a vision, a vision that I happen to agree with. A vision that freedom is universal and freedom will lead to peace. I admire him because in the midst of political heat, he showed backbone. And you know, and so he’s been a good ally for America.
The whole article (or at least the 5% that I didn't cut and paste here) is worth a read.



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