Thursday, January 20, 2005


Bush said "freedom" about 30 times in his inaugural address today. His belief that "if I merely say it, that makes it so" is routine by now, and the Washington Post points that out in this story:

President Bush's soaring rhetoric yesterday that the United States will promote the growth of democratic movements and institutions worldwide is at odds with the administration's increasingly close relations with repressive governments in every corner of the world.

Some of the administration's allies in the war against terrorism -- including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Uzbekistan -- are ranked by the State Department as among the worst human rights abusers. The president has proudly proclaimed his friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin while remaining largely silent about Putin's dismantling of democratic institutions in the past four years. The administration, eager to enlist China as an ally in the effort to restrain North Korea's nuclear ambitions, has played down human rights concerns there, as well.

I realize his fans only care about his repetition of shibboleths, but even the most sycophantic of them should see that plunging Iraq into ferocious internicene brutality while letting our "friendly" thugs run roughshod over their citizens doesn't do much for human rights and freedom.

But why see that when you can just listen to Michael Gerson's pretty words?

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