Friday, January 21, 2005

The Inconsistent Attack on Inconsistency

A Washington Post article lays out the "liberal" line of attack on Bush's "Forward Strategy of Freedom." If you recognize it, that is because this is a revival of the old Cold War accusation that America was evil because it supported dictatorships in South America and Southeast Asia—ignoring the fact that we did so in order to defeat a much stronger and more oppressive Soviet dictatorship.

Similarly, the purpose of this article is not to push the administration to take more vigorous action—including military action—against the governments of Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, or Egypt. To the contrary, it vents the complaints of the pacifist "human rights" establishment—whose real objection is not that Bush has tolerated some repressive allies, but that America has used force to topple a dictatorship.

"Bush's Words on Liberty Don't Mesh with Policies," Washington Post, 1/21/05

"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."