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Bush Explains U.S. Positions on Kyoto Protocol, Iraq War


July 03, 2005

Implementing the Kyoto Protocol on climate change would have "wrecked" the U.S. economy, President Bush told the Danish Broadcasting Corporation in an interview June 29.

"I couldn't in good faith sign Kyoto," Bush said, adding that the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly against ratification of the treaty. He also pointed out that China and India, countries he referred to as "big polluters," were not included in the treaty.

The protocol, which was concluded in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, is an amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Countries that ratify this protocol commit to certain reductions of their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases.

Bush said in the interview that his administration is spending $20 billion to understand better the science behind climate change and to develop technologies that will enable the United States to diversify its energy source and move away from the use of fossil fuels.

"We're hooked on oil from the Middle East, which is a national security problem and an economic security problem, and at the same time, burning fossil fuels is a part of the cause of greenhouse gases," said Bush.

In explaining his decision to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, Bush cited the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. "People have got to understand my mentality, and it changed after September the 11th," Bush said. "For some in Europe, September the 11th was just a moment, a sad moment. For me, it changed how I looked at the world and changed how many Americans looked at the world because we were attacked."

He said he was "obviously disappointed" at the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, noting he is "implementing some serious reforms of our intelligence gathering."

On the other hand, I believe we made the right decision because Saddam Hussein was not only a tyrant, but he was a threat to world peace," Bush added. Even though no weapons of mass destruction were found, Saddam had the intent to make weapons of mass destruction and a relationship with terrorists, he said.

Committing troops "is the last option for me. It's the hardest thing a President does," Bush said. In his June 28 speech to the American people about a way forward in Iraq, Bush said, "I thanked them for their sacrifice, but also reminded them that we're laying the foundations for peace. And I truly believe we are. I would not put those kids out there if I didn't believe there's a better world ahead."



On the Web:

Full Transcript of Interview of the President by Danish Broadcasting Corporation


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