Response to Bush's Speech from Britain to Beijing ; Leaders and Analysts Saw Little New in Foreign Policy, but Welcomed His Shift on Energy
"It gives no real hope for ordinary Iraqis.... I think [the troop surge] will not curb the violence for a long time because the problem is not only military, it is more political and about foreign interference."
~~b~~- Hussein al-Falluji, Sunni Arab member of Iraq's parliament~~/b~~
"Bush's speech still contained the logic of force and destruction instead of the logic of dialogue and political solutions...."
~~b~~- Falah Hassan, Shiite member of Iraq's parliament~~/b~~
"The signs from the State of the Union are positive, but we do need to make sure we get a binding international framework that allows us to tackle this issue [climate change] at the only level ultimately it can be tackled, which is by making sure we have an agreement with all the major countries including America, China, and India...."
~~b~~- British Prime Minister Tony Blair~~/b~~
"[The commitment to reducing gasoline usage by 20 percent by 2017] counts in my book as a firm commitment. This obviously fits into a situation where we have a momentum building up, not just in the States but also worldwide on energy and climate change."
~~b~~- British government spokesman ~~/b~~
"It was self-confident without being in any way arrogant. It was reaching out. He was looking for the cooperation that might be possible, which is what one would expect from a lame duck.... On foreign policy I didn't see anything new ... just a plea for cooperation for [the Iraq surge].... Unless he has a good deal of luck in Iraq, it will be that for which he is remembered.
~~b~~- Robert McGeehan, Chatham House think tank, London~~/b~~
"The centerpiece domestic policy proposed - a shift in energy consumption to reduce America's dependence on imported oil - has been the stated goal of just about every president for the last 35 years. Measures to broaden the reach of health insurance also seem to have been an objective of every president in living memory. And yet the number of those who are uninsured does not seem to change much from one decade to the next."
~~b~~- Gerard Baker, The Times online (London)~~/b~~
On Iraq: "He [Bush] is taking a terrible political risk over Iraq by seeming to be provoking a reaction among Democrats. It looks from France like the president wishes for the Democrats to appear unpatriotic by not supporting the surge initiative. I don't know if that's going to sell."
On climate change: "When you think of what Bush did in 2001, the new view on climate change is amazing, a complete U-turn.
On the surge: "The view many of us take is that a 21,000 surge is too much if what you are planning is withdrawal, and too little if you want to do something serious. …