. . . Tuesday February 22, 2005

No Charm, No Foul

President Bush continued what some have described as his charm offensive in Europe.

His message? In short, I was right, you were wrong and you should be able to get over that now:

“The major issue that irritated a lot of Europeans was Iraq. I understand that. I can figure it out. And the key now is to put that behind us, and to focus on helping the new democracy succeed…

The policy in the past used to be, let’s just accept tyranny, for the sake of — well, you know, cheap oil, or whatever it may be, and just hope everything would be okay. Well, that changed on September the 11th for our nation. Everything wasn’t okay. Beneath what appeared to be a placid surface lurked an ideology based upon hatred. And the way to defeat that ideology is to spread freedom and democracy. That’s what NATO understands, see…

And so my message is, is that the past is — I made some hard decisions — as did other leaders, by the way, in Europe — about how to enforce 17 different United Nations resolutions on Iraq. Not one resolution, but 17 different resolutions. And we liberated Iraq and that decision has been made, it’s over with, and now it’s time to unify for the sake of peace.

And I believe that message — I believe — forget the charm part; I believe that message is a message that people can understand. And they’re beginning to see that the strategy is working.”

Concentration is important!