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Billionaire Soros keeps up attack on Bush

By PETER ROFF, UPI Senior Political Analyst

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros criticized the Bush administration Monday for using the war on terror as a pretext for an aggressive foreign policy.

Soros, who has donated millions of dollars to groups that share his goal of preventing U.S. President George W. Bush's re-election in 2004, said he remains deeply troubled by administration policies, especially in the area of foreign affairs.

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Bush, he said, was elected in 2000 "on a platform that promised a humble foreign policy." From the day he was inaugurated forward, his administration has instead pursued policies designed to disassociate the United States from international agreements and institutions.

The administration, he said, is basing its foreign policy on what he called "the Bush Doctrine," which holds that the United States "will not tolerate any rival globally or in any region" and that the United States "has the right to engage in preventive adventures abroad."

Soros said he believes the Bush administration has used the war against terrorism as "a pretext" for toppling Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and as the basis of an effort to establish U.S. global superiority through military means.

The president has "used the war on terror as a pretext to pursue a dream of American supremacy that is neither obtainable nor desirable. It endangers civil liberties at home and embroils (the United States) in military adventures abroad," Soros said.

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Internationally, this amounts to an attempt to create a system where "the sovereignty of all other states is subject to the pre-emptive actions of the United States." This in turn, he said, leads to a world order in which, as in George Orwell's anti-communist novel "Animal Farm" -- all nations are equal but some nations are more equal than others.

Bush's defeat in 2004, he says, would been seen around the world as a rejection of the Bush doctrine and give the United States the opportunity to "resume its place as a powerful but peaceful nation."

"A different president with a different attitude," Soros said, would create for the United States a different place among the family of nations. Soros did not explicitly endorse the presidential bid of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's but did take the opportunity to say that he was "keen on Dean" and that his foreign policy message was certainly one that he could embrace.

In the end, Soros said, it must be Iraq and not the U.S. economy that is the dominant issue in the November election.

Soros is "putting my money where my mouth is," underwriting an effort to change the agenda in an election that he hopes with change the government in the country that sets the agenda for the world.

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(Photos available: WAP2004011201, WAP2004011202, WAP2004011203, WAP2004011204)

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