Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Excuse Me While I Retch

Today brought us the spectacle of the President of the United States addressing a group of Eastern European dissidents, and waxing esoteric about freedom and democracy. Reading this transcript was a medical eyeopener for myself, demonstrating time and again that my gag reflex was fully operational.

This President who signed a law revoking habeas corpus, the most fundamental right passed down through successive generations since the dark ages, now travels the world lecturing on freedom.

President Bush, who has "authorized" the NSA spy program in direct violation of the 4th amendment of the Constitution and the FISA law now purports to lecture the world on democracy.

This same man who shakes hands with the most brutal dictators known in modern times and welcomes alliances with regimes who proudly shape their societies based upon role models that could be provided by medieval serfdom's has the temerity to talk about the evils of totalitarianism.

Reading the Presidents speech, it is as if he were giving an indictment of his administration.
[T]here are fundamental elements that all democracies share -- freedom of speech, religion, press, and assembly; rule of law enforced by independent courts;
Freedom of speech rings hollow when this nation is witness to people being thrown out of public events featuring this same President based solely upon the fact that the car they rode to the event in carries the wrong bumper sticker. Freedom of the Press? Look at the history of Americans repeatedly jailing journalists in Iraq for extended periods of time with no charges. Look at the bombing of Al Jazeera in both Afghanistan and Iraq, or the holding of Al Jazeera reporter Sami al-Haj for years without charge in Guantanamo Bay. Freedom of assembly sounds all fine and dandy until you try to organize a protest at the Republican National Convention or at Bush's ranch in Crawford and find yourself cooped up at some little fenced in compound miles away from anything. Just exercising your freedom to assemble can bring investigation by the federale's just like they thought the Quakers and other such innocuous peace loving groups should be investigated.

But looky here! The President is suddenly all happy about "the rule of law enforced by independent courts". I look forward to him closing Guantanamo Bay, which is by any standard an egregious affront to freedom and democracy,and a black eye to America BECAUSE we should actually stand for what we say we stand for. Get a freaking CLUE Mr. President!

The entire speech is replete with just such silliness. Did you know terrorism is due to the terrorists being raised by repressive dictatorships? What does that say for our continued support of Saudi Arabia, where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from, and which country is one of the most repressive and intolerant on the face of the planet. And why aren't we being struck by Cuban terrorists because they have been raised in repression... Oh right! We actually allow Cuban terrorists to freely walk amongst us. But the real reason we aren't being struck by a wave of terrorists flooding north from Cuba, Haiti, Chile and any of a dozen other historically repressive regimes is because the President is just flat wrong! The main reason the fundamentalist Islamists have it in for us is because of our one sided support for Israel. They don't hate us for our freedoms. They hate us for our foreign policy.

I find it embarrassing that we are witness to a President who so publicly embraces dictatorships and repressive regimes around the globe, and then lectures on the wonders of freedom and democracy... even as he repeals fundamental and ancient rights in America. The President is trying to have it both ways. Indeed let us stand for liberty, justice and the American way. Let us do this in the face of the terrorists, and the other trials which every nation must face. Let us stand for these ideals even when it is not the easiest thing to do. But let us not pretend we stand for them even as we conduct our affairs in precisely the opposite way that we preach others they ought to behave.

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