Have a look at this one reply to a decent question posed by a reporter in Crawford this AM. When you review the president's rhetoric ask your self the following questions:
- Is Israel a democratic country, and how peaceful is it?
- What does the President mean when he talks about "democratic reform?"
- Are there not peaceful countries that are not democracies?
- How peaceful is our democratic country?
Q Many strategists say that we'll never get to the bottom of this crisis unless the U.S. engages directly with Syria and Iran. Why not talk to them directly about this, and have a back-and-forth conversation?Really, if one espouses to be delivering freedom and peace, might the gift best be presented by free and peaceful means?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, that's an interesting question. I've been reading about that, that people have been posing that question. We have been in touch with Syria. Colin Powell sent a message to Syria in person. Dick Armitage traveled to Syria. Bill Burns traveled to Syria. We've got a consulate office in Syria. Syria knows what we think. The problem isn't us telling Syria what's on our mind, which is to stop harboring terror and to help the Iraqi democracy evolve. They know exactly what our position is. The problem is, is that their response hasn't been very positive. As a matter of fact, it hasn't been positive at all.
And in terms of Iran, we made it clear to the Iranians that if they would honor previous obligations and verifiably stop enrichment of nuclear materials, we would sit at a table. And so there's a way forward for both countries. The choice is theirs. Now, I appreciate people focusing on Syria and Iran, and we should, because Syria and Iran sponsor and promote Hezbollah activities -- all aimed at creating chaos, all aimed at using terror to stop the advance of democracies.
Our objective, our policy is to give voice to people through democratic reform. And that's why we strongly support the Siniora government. That's why I've articulated a two state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, two democracies living side-by-side in peace. That's why Condi went to see President Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Territories, to assure him that we're committed to a democracy. That's why we're making sacrifices in Iraq -- to build democracy.
In other words, we believe democracy yields peace. And the actions of Hezbollah through its sponsors of Iran and Syria are trying to stop that advance of democracy. Hezbollah launched this attack. Hezbollah is trying to create the chaos necessary to stop the advance of peace. And the world community must come together to address this problem.