Friday, September 24, 2004

This Just In | George Bush, Master of Sanctimony | The Progressive magazine

This Just In | George Bush, Master of Sanctimony | The Progressive magazine:
"He boasted that 'we have the historic chance . . . to fight radicalism and terror with justice and dignity,' willfully ignoring the Abu Ghraib scandal that has so besmirched the U.S. reputation abroad.

On Iraq and Afghanistan today, he said, 'Freedom is finding a way,' and that both peoples 'are on the path to democracy and freedom.'

It must be a slippery path, though, and a difficult way.

Bush hinted at this by saying, 'The work ahead is demanding.' But he used this acknowledgment to upbraid the delegates: 'The proper response to difficulty is not to retreat, it is to prevail.'

Amazingly, he said, 'The people of Iraq have regained sovereignty,' even though they are being ruled by a former CIA asset appointed by the Iraqi Governing Council, which Bush's viceroy, Paul Bremer, handpicked."

Bush's entire discussion about Iraq reeked of hubris. Just last week, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan called the Iraq War "illegal," but Bush said "a coalition of nations enforced the just demands of the world." Once again, he simply assumed that the United States has the right to be the unilateral enforcer of U.N. Security Council resolutions, even when the Security Council itself does not agree. To give those resolutions meaning and "for the sake of peace" (calling George Orwell), Bush said the war against Saddam Hussein was necessary.

Bush did not mention the elusive weapons of mass destruction, incidentally. Instead, he emphasized that the war against Iraq this time was to "deliver the Iraqi people from an outlaw dictator."

On the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Bush, as is his custom, spent much more time and much stronger language berating Yasser Arafat, though not by name, than in scolding the Israeli government.

This imbalance must have been clear to people in the Arab and Muslim world.

Bush did denounce the crimes in the Darfur region of Sudan, "crimes my government has concluded are genocide." But he was short on any follow through that is necessary to stop that genocide.

The only new initiative he offered during his entire speech was the establishment of something he called a Democracy Fund to help set up "independent courts, a free press, political parties, and trade unions." Trade unions? Since when has Bush been a supporter of them? Bush added, "Money from the fund would also help set up voter precincts and poling places, and support the work of election monitors."

We may need those election monitors here on November 2.…
con·cept: This Just In | George Bush, Master of Sanctimony | The Progressive magazine