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Bush's policies in the region draw wide criticism

posted on 22/11/2006: 1730 views

"Here in the UAE we do honour Americans, and I believe that they are highly respected in our country. However, we do not respect your son, and we do not respect what you are doing all over the world."

That was the comment addressed to George Bush Sr by Nevine Al Rumeisi, a student at the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) during his presentation at the World Leadership Summit yesterday.

Nevine's remarks provoked strong applause and further criticism for US policies in the region. Bush, who emphasised in his presentation the importance of family values in creating a strong leader, seemed astonished by the remarks that reflect the declining popularity of the US among the public.

"I respect your right to get up and say what's on your mind, in other places you are not allowed to do that, yet it takes a lot of guts to tell a father what you said about his son when I just told you that the thing that matters to my heart is my family... but I disagree with you, my son is an honest man, he is working hard for peace, and how come everybody wants to go to the US if the US is so bad?"

He inquired yet to provoke an American citizen residing in the UAE to criticise his response on the grounds that the remark made by Nevine was not against Americans, but only a free expression of her opinion towards the policies of George Bush junior.

"I think the remarks that you made about why people need to go to America to be very hostile and make the country look even worse," he said.

These remarks provoked even stronger applause and were followed by yet another remark from an HCT male student who objected to the US policy of going to war against the world for the collapse of two buildings in New York, while ignoring the tens of buildings collapsing in Palestine.

Bush went on explaining that the president of the US cannot be changing his views as a result of opinion polls or some hard talk, and that he understands the anxiety resulting from the situation in Iraq. "But people one day might look back and feel grateful that they got rid of Saddam," he said.

During his presentation, Bush was keen to emphasize how his family affected his life, especially his mother and his sons, and provided him with the core values, or what he termed the universal values that shape any leader.

He stressed the importance of taking the blame not only the credit and keeping the word of honour.

"Schwarzkopf could have been able to march to Baghdad and overthrow Saddam, but I kept my word of honour, and we only kicked him out of Kuwait," he commented.

He also highlighted the importance of changes whenever the circumstances allowed, and respecting the different opinion, even if it comes from an opponent.

He concluded by saying that "regardless of the oil prices, all other nations should follow the UAE's steps, especially by investing in the human capital and education to build an economy based on science and technology." Gulf News


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