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Posted: 3/16/2005 7:26:27 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/16/2005 7:27:33 AM EST by Matt_B]
Notice the text I have highlighted in red. WTF? Who's the a$$hat the said that?

Bush: Hezbollah could enter Lebanon's political mainstream

Bush: Hezbollah could enter Lebanon's political mainstream
Official denies president's remarks are shift in U.S. policy

Tuesday, March 15, 2005 Posted: 3:32 PM EST (2032 GMT)

President Bush meets Tuesday with Jordan's King Abdullah II in the Oval Office.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush on Tuesday expressed the hope that Hezbollah -- which the U.S. State Department has long regarded as a terrorist group -- could enter the political mainstream in Lebanon.

"We view Hezbollah as a terrorist organization," Bush said at a news conference with Jordan's King Abdullah II after the two met in the Oval Office.

"I would hope that Hezbollah would prove that they're not, by laying down arms and not threatening peace."

Bush's remarks echoed sentiments expressed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and national security adviser Stephen Hadley over the weekend. (Full story)

A senior administration official described the president's comments as a "softening of the language, not a shift in policy" regarding the militant Shiite Muslim group. The official said Hezbollah would have to "disarm, renounce terror and abandon any support for terrorism" if it wants to "play a constructive role in Lebanon."

Only then, the official said, would the United States be willing to deal with Hezbollah as a legitimate political organization.

The call for Hezbollah to abandon its ways and become part of Lebanon's political mainstream is an acknowledgment by the administration that the group has strong support in Lebanon and will continue to have a role in the country, the official said.

The administration's strategy is to signal to the Lebanese people it recognizes this reality but make it clear that Hezbollah must change fundamentally, the official said.

Hezbollah organized a huge, pro-Syria rally last week in the Lebanese capital of Beirut. (Full story)

The move followed weeks of demonstrations against Syrian troops in Lebanon after last month's assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Bush has called for Syrian troops to withdraw from Lebanon before the country's May elections, and a U.N. resolution also seeks those forces' immediate withdrawal.

Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has demanded that the United States quit "meddling with our country."

A Lebanese army source said Tuesday that Syrian intelligence units were in the process of leaving Beirut. (Full story)

"First things first," the senior Bush administration official said. "Syria must get out, and Lebanon must have unfettered elections, then Hezbollah must disarm. ... There is no place for an armed militia in a democratic society."

On Tuesday, Bush said he is concerned that Hezbollah could try to derail the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

"It's very important that this peace process go forward, for the sake of the Palestinians, for the sake of the Israelis and for the sake of all the people in the region."

Bush said he believes progress is being made on the Mideast front.

"I believe peace is within hand," he said.

He said the United States recently sent a general to the region "to help the Palestinians have an effective security force" and expressed confidence that Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas "is desirous of developing a state that would live side by side with Israel in peace."

"We recognize that Palestinians need help in consolidating security forces and training security forces that would defeat the terrorists that would like to stop the march of freedom."

Abdullah called Abbas "a man of his word" and someone upon whom Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon can depend.

"I truly believe that, in this man, Prime Minister Sharon has a partner for peace," he said, "and I'm very optimistic that, between the two leaders, that the process will go forward and will go forward positively."

Link Posted: 3/16/2005 7:33:49 AM EST
It would seem to be a common theme amoung sr. Bush officials as Condi Rice said something similar the other day about the Minutemen project.
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 7:35:45 AM EST
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 7:49:28 AM EST
What difference does it make "who" said it, the UNITED STATES is NOT a democracy, it's a REPUBLIC!

A better question might be, "why in the hell is the US, as a "REPUBLIC", running around the world creating "democracies" in the first place???????

"We have been taught to believe that a democracy is the ideal form of government. Supposedly, that is what was created by the American Constitution. However, if you read the documents of the Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution, you find that they spoke very poorly of Democracy. They said in plain English that a Democracy was one of the worst possible forms of government. (makes ya wonder why the heck we're so gung-ho about them, don't it?) And so they created what they called a Republic.

The bottom line is that the difference between a democracy and a Republic is the difference between collectivism and individualism.

In a pure Democracy, the concept is that the majority shall rule. That’s the end of the discussion.

You might say, "What’s wrong with that?" Well, there could be plenty wrong with that. What about a lynch mob? There is only one person with a dissenting vote, and he is the guy at the end of the rope.

Ah, wait a minute, you say. Maybe the majority should not always rule. How can we protect the individual from the group? Maybe the group could become dangerous. Perhaps we should put limits upon Democracy.

That is precisely what a Republic accomplishes.

A Republic is simply a limited democracy - a democracy with limits on what the group can do, with limits on what the majority can do. Republics are characterized by written constitutions that say the government - even though it represents the majority - shall not do this; the government shall not do that; and it shall be prevented from doing that, also. We have individual liberties and rights that stand higher and are more important than the group.

Sorry for the rant, but this is one of my pet-peeves, IN AMERICA, we ain't no damned democracy, we're a Republic.

Link Posted: 3/16/2005 7:56:10 AM EST
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