Thursday, August 30, 2007
America is now seen as a threat to world peace by its closest neighbours and allies, according to an international survey of public opinion published today that reveals just how far the country's reputation has fallen among former supporters since the invasion of Iraq.
Carried out as US voters prepare to go to the polls next week in an election dominated by the war, the research also shows that British voters see George Bush as a greater danger to world peace than either the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, or the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Both countries were once cited by the US president as part of an "axis of evil", but it is Mr Bush who now alarms voters in countries with traditionally strong links to the US. MORE
Thursday, August 02, 2007
"'This is a relationship that allows us to discuss the most difficult and most sensitive issues in a way that is respectful and friendly,' Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the media gathered at a joint press conference with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Faisal on Tuesday.
But the Secretary must not have found some of the foreign minister's comments to the press very respectful or friendly, since they were labeled 'unintelligible' in a State Department transcript of the event.
According to the State Department, al-Faisal said in his opening statement:
The Kingdom is keen on achieving peace in Iraq and maintaining its unity and stability. However, the success of these efforts are tied to achieving social stability, equality, and representation for all of Iraq’s people and all of the ethnic and religious groups there. Iraq bears a responsibility to (unintelligible)." more":
In his Saturday radio address, President Bush tried to spin the new National Intelligence Estimate and its warnings regarding a dangerously resurgent Al Qaeda in Pakistan. But buried among cherry-picked quotes about successes against Bin Laden's organization and his comical claim of willingness to work with Congress to "modernize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act" was a startling admission. President Bush acknowledged that his post 9/11 mantra of "no safe havens for terrorists" was a dismal failure:
"One of the most troubling [points in the NIE] is its assessment that al Qaeda has managed to establish a safe haven in the tribal areas of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan. Last September, President Musharraf of Pakistan reached an agreement that gave tribal leaders more responsibility for policing their own areas. Unfortunately, tribal leaders were unwilling and unable to go after al Qaeda or the Taliban." (more)