Friday, February 15, 2008

Bush's foreign policy does not seem very nuanced

according to my read of this:
Bush: “I view the Olympics as a sporting event.”

Bush gave an interview to the BBC’s Matt Frei. Midway through, Frei asks him about Steven Spielberg pulling out of the Olympics this year to protest Darfur.

BUSH: “That’s up to him. I’m going to the Olympics. I view the Olympics as a sporting event. On the other hand, I have a little different platform than Steven Spielberg so, I get to talk to President Hu Jintao. And I do remind him that he can do more to relieve the suffering in Darfur. There’s a lot of issues that I suspect people are gonna, you know, opine, about during the Olympics. I mean, you got the Dali Lama crowd. You’ve got global warming folks. You’ve got, you know, Darfur and… I am not gonna you know, go and use the Olympics as an opportunity to express my opinions to the Chinese people in a public way ’cause I do it all the time with the president. I mean. So, people are gonna be able to choose — pick and choose how they view the Olympics.”

FREI: “The Chinese government has been saying - part in response to this that - ‘America is [slipping back into] Cold War thinking’.”

BUSH: “Yeah. Well, you know, they’re… I think that’s just a brush back pitch, as we say in baseball. It’s… America is trapped in this notion that we care about human life.

“We respect human dignity. And that’s not a trap. That’s a belief. And that many of [us] in this country recognize that the human condition matters to our own national security. See, I happen to believe we’re in an ideological struggle. And, those who murder the innocent to achieve political objectives are evil people. But, they have an ideology. And the only way you can recruit for that ideology is to find hopeless folks. I mean, who wants to join an ideology say women don’t have rights? You can’t express yourself freely. Religious beliefs are… you know, the only religious belief you can hold is the one we tell you. And, oh, by the way, it’s great. You can be a suicider. Well, hopeless people are the ones who get attracted by that point of view. And, therefore, it’s in the world’s interest from a national security perspective to deal with hopelessness. And it has to be in our moral interest. I repeat to you… I believe to whom much is given, much is required. It happens to be a religious notion. But, it should be a universal notion as well. And… I believe America’s soul is enriched, our spirit is enhanced when we help people who suffer.”

It also seems to be working better than Carter's policies of unilateral disarmament or countering a Soviet invitation with skipping the Olympics.

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