ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Jan 13 -- President Bush accused Iran Sunday of undermining peace in Lebanon, funding terrorist groups, trying to intimidate its neighbors and refusing to be open about its nuclear program and ambitions.
In a speech described by the White House as the centerpiece of his eight-day trip to the Middle East, Bush tried to speak directly to the people of Iran as he urged nations to help the United States "confront this danger before it is too late."
"You have a right to live under a government that listens to your wishes, respects your talents and allows you to build better lives for your families," Bush said to Iranians. "Unfortunately, your government denies you these opportunities, and threatens the peace and stability of your neighbors. So we call on the regime in Tehran to heed your will, and to make itself accountable to you."
Lovely piece of rhetoric, telling the Iranians what sort of government they should have. We could use a government that listens to our wishes, too.
Meanwhile, shrub shows the world how we get our allies to help in the "peace" process:
Bush is trying to persuade Arab countries to join U.S. efforts to pressure Iran, though many have displayed ambivalence about the administration's campaign amid a new U.S. intelligence report that concluded Iran stopped a nuclear weapons program in 2003.
The president will travel Monday to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, viewed by many inside and out of the administration as the lynchpin of its efforts to develop an anti-Iran coalition. As part of an effort to show its commitment to Saudi Arabia, a senior administration official said the White House plans to notify Congress about a substantial package of arms sales for Saudi Arabia; it seemed likely to be on the order of $20 billion.
A $20 billion arms package is just the thing to help pacify the middle east, isn't it?