CNN’s Amanpour and Phillips: Bush Foreign Policy Has ‘Failed Everywhere’

NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterCNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour, during a discussion of President Bush’s recent trip to the Middle East on Monday’s "American Morning," cited her discussion with unnamed "analysts and experts," and concluded " it's hard to discern any evidence of any success on this trip whatsoever." "American Morning" substitute co-host Kyra Phillips, following-up to Amanpour’s analysis, remarked, "Well, critics have come forward and said, okay, whether it's his policies in Iraq, Lebanon, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he's failed everywhere."

The three-minute segment, which was the last in the 6 am Eastern hour of the CNN program, came after a report by CNN correspondent Aneesh Raman, which summarized the President’s trip. Amanpour, in response to Phillips’ "failed everywhere" statement, gave a more nuanced take on President Bush’s foreign policy track record. "Well, events have moved beyond anybody's expectations and control.... If you look in Lebanon, the elected U.S.-backed Prime Minister Fouad Siniora is not in control. Hamas is in control because it has a superiority -- rather Hezbollah, in terms of weapons. So the U.S.-backed allies there are not in control, basically, only in name only and de facto."

In her final question to Amanpour, Phillips continued her dour take on the Bush record. "And so is it him, is it his advisors? I mean, a lot of people are saying, he's got to do something for his legacy. He's got this Iraq war that's just tarnished his image and the Republican Party, but he continues to come home empty-handed. So can he even win?"

Amanpour replied, "Well, it's about policy, many of the analysts are saying. Policy is being pursued that has not paid off, in terms of the ends that presumably were imagined." She then concluded by going back to the issue of Lebanon, specifically, talking about the recent flare-up between the Lebanese government and Hezbollah.

The full transcript of the Amanpour/Phillips segment from Monday’s "American Morning:"

KYRA PHILLIPS: CNN's chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour joining us now. Did he [President Bush] achieve anything on this five-day tour?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Well, having talked around with analysts and experts over the weekend, it's hard to discern any evidence of any success on this trip whatsoever. He was in Israel and all those who I have been talking to who are working on that -- diplomats and others who are working on that issue feel that no progress was made there and that there's probably very little, if any chance of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal by the end of this year as the President has repeatedly said would happen.

PHILLIPS: I'm sorry go ahead. Well, critics have come forward and said, okay, whether it's his policies in Iraq, Lebanon, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he's failed everywhere.

AMANPOUR: Well, events have moved beyond anybody's expectations and control. If you look at the Palestinian territories, the elected President, Mahmoud Abbas, is not in control. The Hamas group are in control. If you look in Lebanon, the elected U.S- backed Prime Minister Fouad Siniora is not in control. Hamas is in control because it has a superiority -- rather Hezbollah, in terms of weapons. So the U.S.-backed allies there are not in control, basically, only in name only and de facto. The President made a speech during the 60th anniversary celebrations of Israel's founding in the Knesset. What could have been a very moving and an important speech there turned into a firestorm here domestically.

He then went on to Saudi Arabia and people say, you know, if you know the Saudis aren't going to raise the output in order to lower prices, why ask? It just makes you look weak. So that happened. And then, this speech to the Arab leaders was perceived as chiding and denigrating the Arab leaders in their system, at the same time lavishing praise on Israel and what's going on there. And so the reviews, if you like, from the region on this visit have not been stellar.

PHILLIPS: And so is it him, is it his advisors? I mean, a lot of people are saying, he's got to do something for his legacy. He's got this Iraq war that's just tarnished his image and the Republican Party, but he continues to come home empty-handed. So can he even win?

AMANPOUR: Well, it's about policy, many of the analysts are saying. Policy is being pursued that has not paid off, in terms of the ends that presumably were imagined. You've got -- as I say, in Lebanon, a policy pursued backing Fouad Siniora and a moderate coalition as Prime Minister and yet, Hezbollah never disarmed and able to turn around and turn its weapons back on to the Lebanese people in an unprecedented way. And just this week, Hezbollah agreed to sort of pull back a bit, but only after the democratically-elected legitimate U.S.-backed government backed down. The two issues that the Lebanese government took, which prompted Hezbollah to do what it, did have now been rescinded so.

PHILLIPS: Christiane Amanpour, always great to have you in the morning. Appreciate it.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center