Thursday, November 06, 2003

Bush was spewing more bullshit and unfounded conclusions in a speech today at the National Endowment for Democracy. Text of the speech can be found here.

Some quotes 'n' notes:

They will point to the role of technology in frustrating censorship and central control...
Just sit back and let the irony of that statement settle in.

Yet we also know that liberty, if not defended, can be lost.
Something Americans are currently getting firsthand experience in.

The nations of Europe are moving toward unity, not dividing into armed camps and descending into genocide.
Is he referring to the EU? I'm sure countries like Britain are real thrilled to hear praise that they've kept their shit together and haven't descended into genocide. I know; he was probably referring to places like the Balkan states, but this was still poorly phrased.

And we will stand with these oppressed peoples until the day of liberation and freedom finally arrives.
If we stand to profit from it.

After the Japanese surrender in 1945, a so-called Japan expert asserted that democracy in that former empire would, quote, "never work."
I'm tired of the continual use of Japan and Germany as examples as to how we are capable of democratizing nations. Although both situations degraded, Germany and Japan had experience with democracy not long before WWII. I went into this more in depth in a September 7th post, which was a long post with a bunch of comments on one of Bush's speeches (if you want to find the Germany/Japan stuff, just search the page for "Hitler"). I'm not saying that democracy is impossible in the Middle East (although I have serious doubts), but using examples like post-WWII reconstruction is a cheap attempt at making it look like it's going to be easy when it isn't.

It should be clear to all that Islam, the faith of one-fifth of humanity, is consistent with democratic rule.
Yes, when we're talking about mainstream Islam. More of the hard-line fundamentalist strains of Islam, however, seems to have some issues with Democratic rule. That's what we're up against today.

Instead of dwelling on past wrongs and blaming others, governments in the Middle East need to confront real problems and serve the true interests of their nations.
Yeah, don't dwell on past wrongs and blame others, because that's our fucking job! It's gonna be hard to convince others to "confront real problems and serve the true interests of their nations" if we can't even follow that edict.

The great and proud nation of Egypt has shown the way toward peace in the Middle East, and now should show the way toward democracy in the Middle East.
Sorry, but Egypt isn't the best example. Take a look at some blurbs from the National Democratic Institute and the U.S. State Department (check out the sections entitled "From Sadat to Mubarak" and "Government and Political Conditions"). Also, I remember watching a special on Egypt when the war started where anti-war protests were being showcased. The protests were some of the most significant seen in Egypt in a long time, as political protest is frowned upon by Mubarak's government. Overall, progress has been made, but I don't think it's anything to really be bragging about. It shows potential, but shows that the fight is far from over, and it's going to take more work than this generation is used to if we want to get the job done.

As we watch and encourage reforms in the region, we are mindful that modernization is not the same as Westernization.
The problem, George, is that a lot of nations who we are pushing towards modernizing DO view it as Westernization, and as such, they're going to fight it. It doesn't matter what we think, it's all going to come down to what they think. You, your underlings, and a good deal of this nation all seem to be far from grasping this fact.

Successful societies limit the power of the state and the power of the military so that governments respond to the will of the people and not the will of the elite.
Again, this is not a credible statement coming from the President* of the United States.

Successful societies guarantee religious liberty; the right to serve and honor God without fear of persecution.
Or, you asshole, the right to not serve and honor God. Coming from Bush, there is no implication of this other side of the coin.

They prohibit and punish official corruption and invest in the health and education of their people. They recognize the rights of women.
Do you think he actually said this with a straight face?

The failure of Iraqi democracy would embolden terrorists around the world and increase dangers to the American people...
This is yet another false conclusion. Terrorists will be emboldened regardless of the success of Democracy in Iraq. Even if democracy takes hold, the terrorists aren't gonna be like "Well, fuck. I guess the infidels have won. Time to punt."

... America has put our power at the service of principle.
No, we have put our power at the service of us. And that's fine, but quit lying about it.

May God bless your work, and may God continue to bless America.
Thanks for once again driving home the point that we have a theocracy in principle.

* - as you may have noticed, I don't really like referring to Bush as the "president." Ignoring the questionable results of the 2000 election, it's just embarassing to me to have to acknowledge this dimwitted asshole as the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. As such, I'm going to do to Bush what they did to Roger Maris. With Maris, they added an asterisk to his record of 61 homeruns in 1961 since it took him more games to get that 61st HR than it did Babe Ruth to reach 60 (the length of the baseball season had been increased between the time of Ruth and Maris. As such, I'm going to add an asterisk to Bush's title because, whether or not he actually won that election, I don't think he deserves to be President.

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