George W Bush lashes out at Trump policies

In this file photo, former US President George W Bush speaks at a forum sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute in New York.(AP)
Updated 08 February 2018
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George W Bush lashes out at Trump policies

ABU DHABI: Former US President George W Bush used the opportunity of an investment forum in the UAE to attack most of the policies of President Donald Trump — without once mentioning the current incumbent of the White House by name.
On a whole range of issues — from immigration, to foreign aid, through to international trade deals and relations with Russia — Bush took a contrary stance to the Trump administration.
“When I hear people say that the world must solve its own problems without the help of the United States it troubles me,” he said, in an apparent contradiction to Trump’s “America First” policy.
Bush was speaking at the Milken Institute Middle East Summit in Abu Dhabi, a gathering of 500 business and finance leaders from around the world.
On immigration, where Trump has proposed banning entry to the US from some Muslim countries, Bush said: “The US has a history of assimilation, and we’ve always welcomed people from wherever they were born. But that is changing now. Our system is broken and we have to fix it. But a populist stance makes it harder for the issue to be resolved.”
On the so-called “Dreamers” — children of illegal immigrants Trump has threaten to deport from the US — Bush said that was an issue that had to be tacked first. “America is their home,” he added.
Bush said the the North America Free Trade Agreement between the USA, Canada and Mexico, from which Trump is considering withdrawal, had been good for the US economy. “You’ve got to want to have you neighbors prosperous,” he said.
Bush, who pushed through a program of medical help to Africa to counter the Aids epidemic, said: “Its hard to look elsewhere when there are problems at home [in the US] but saving lives is the most important thing you can do.”
He reserved his strongest criticism for President Vladimir Putin of Russia, whose government has been accused of interfering in the election that brought Trump to the White House just over a year ago.
“A couple of years ago, I would not have said that Putin was a threat to our homeland. But now there’s pretty clear evidence that they [the Russians] meddled in our elections. Whether they affected the result or not is a different question, but they meddled and it’s dangerous.
“Putin is a zero sum. He cannot think that you both can win. He only thinks ‘I win, you lose’. He has a chip on his shoulder because of the demise of the Soviet Union, and he’s using energy policy to try to get it back,” he added.
“That’s why NATO is so important, and why it’s important for the US to back Nato,” Bush added.


Four arrested in plot to target Muslims in NY state

Updated 29 min 8 sec ago
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Four arrested in plot to target Muslims in NY state

  • New York recovered three explosive devices and 23 weapons from the suspects' homes
  • The group were accused of planning the against a community called Islamberg several hours drive from Greece

NEW YORK: Police in New York state on Wednesday identified three young men arrested for allegedly planning a "potentially lethal" attack on a Muslim community regularly targeted by US extremist sites.
Brian Colaneri, 20, Andrew Crysel, 18 and Vincent Vetromile, 19 were arrested after police in Greece, New York recovered three explosive devices and 23 weapons from the suspects' homes, according to spokesman Jared Rene.
A fourth unidentified suspect, aged 16, was also detained. The group were accused of planning the against a community called Islamberg several hours drive from Greece, Rene said.
The community of some 200 people is managed by the organization Muslims of America, which thanked authorities for preventing a "possible massacre of our community."
Rene said police were tipped off by a high school student who overheard other students speaking of a "next school shooter."
When authorities searched homes they found weapons legally obtained by parents, but uncovered the attack plot.
"The kids did the right thing. When they saw something, they said something. It was a collaborative effort, we uncovered what was probably going to be a deadly attack," he said.
Charged with possession of explosives, the three young men are expected to appear in court February 5.
Rene added they could still face federal charges, including terrorism.
Another plot to attack Islamberg was foiled in 2015, with its author, Robert Doggart, sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2017.