News Release

Bush at the UN: Peace and Prosperity?

President Bush’s address to the United Nations today followed his statement yesterday that “the goals of this country are to help those who feel hopeless, the goals of this country are to spread liberty, the goals of this country is [sic] to enhance prosperity and peace.”

NOAM CHOMSKY
Available for a very limited number of interviews, Chomsky is author most recently of Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy. He said today: “Fine words are cheap. What the Bush administration has done, more characteristically, is to destroy hope, undermine freedom, bring prosperity to a few and war and terror to the many. His meeting with Abbas [scheduled for Wednesday] could pave the way to resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict by sharply changing course, withdrawing support for illegal annexation of Palestinian lands and dismemberment of the shrinking territories granted to Palestinians, and joining the long-standing international consensus on a two-state settlement based on the international border with guarantees for the right of all states ‘to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries,’ including Israel and Palestine. That would not resolve all the crises of the region, but would take a long step towards that goal and lay the basis for further progress towards hope, liberty, prosperity and peace.”
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CHRIS TOENSING
Editor of Middle East Report, Toensing said today: “The more stress Bush lays on ‘democracy promotion,’ the more the world will be reminded of actual U.S. policy — everything from Washington’s leadership of an international aid embargo on the democratically elected Palestinian government to Washington’s continued backing for autocrats in Cairo and Riyadh to a Canadian inquiry’s finding yesterday that U.S. officials kidnapped a completely innocent man [Maher Arar] and ‘rendered’ him to a Syrian dungeon for torture.”
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ERVAND ABRAHAMIAN
Abrahamian will participate in a meeting with Iranian President Ahmadinejad on Wednesday morning. Abrahamian is author of the article “Iran: The Next Target?” and several books including Inventing the Axis of Evil and Iran Between Two Revolutions.
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MAUREEN WEBB
Webb is a human rights lawyer and activist. She has spoken extensively on post-September 11 security and human rights issues. She is author of the forthcoming Illusions of Security, and can address the Maher Arar case and its wider implications.
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YASH TANDON
Executive director of the South Centre, Tandon was just in Cuba for the meeting of the Non-Allied Movement and is in New York City for the UN meeting until Wednesday. He said today: “Kofi Annan has talked of the priorities of security, development and human rights. But frequently development is low on the agenda and without it, human rights and security become largely academic. Migration is also another major issue that needs to be addressed: Why are people leaving the South and going to the North?

“Development needs to be self-engineered. This notion that many in the North have that the South is going to develop through trade liberalization is a total misconception. We’re seeing capital going from the South to the North.”
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DAVID CLINE
HANY KHALIL
JUDITH LeBLANK
Cline is national president of Veterans for Peace; Khalil and LeBlank are with United for Peace and Justice. They are with several thousand other people protesting Bush’s speech outside the UN.
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ROBERT NAIMAN
National coordinator of Just Foreign Policy, Naiman said today: “President Bush is calling on the world to ‘stand up for peace’ but he has refused to pledge not to launch a military attack on Iran, even if negotiations over its nuclear program are successful. Instead, his military officials are revising plans for air strikes on Iran, while his Director of National Intelligence refuses to acknowledge that a Congressional report touting the danger of Iran’s nuclear program contains ‘egregious, misleading, and unsubstantiated information,’ in the words of the International Atomic Energy Agency.” [Video of Negroponte can be found here.] More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167