Jan 31, 2005

Promote Freedom & Democracy? Start Closer at Home!

The US should promote freedom and democracy, but this administration is sending the wrong signals to the world. Our pompous president, at his swearing in, said something about bringing democracy & freedom to ..others. Question: how can he say that with a straight face when the US props up and supports, in many ways, countries that are ruled by dictators, autocrats, and torturers? The latter may be quite useful to the Bush government now that a district court said that the suspects at Guantanamo have rights! We'll send them to Bush's friends who don't bother with such rights. Why, you think we haven't done this already?
Of course, even in the US, the question of rights hasn't been settled yet. Gonzales can speak to that. There are judges who are not convinced that suspects captured outside the country shouldn't be imprisoned indefinitely without a trial and legal representation! This is another example on how the President, by appointing federal judges, can change the civil rights landscape in our country...
If this poll is accurate, then our young generation in addition to being ignorant of history is also indifferent to freedom! This is very disturbing, and a threat to our hard-earned freedoms. But, what do we expect when the magaphone is held by a president who not only can't speak correctly but has no interest in protecting anything that may challenge his microscopic view and/or the big corporate interests behind him. What should we expect when his friends assault science in schools? When we are raising a whole new generation that lags behind in education and other desirable skills than the rest of students in the advanced countries?...
Kudos to the ACLU which scooped the rest of the media regarding the torture cases at Abu Graib and Guantanamo by filing Freedom of Information Act requests, while the journalists were buying the "official" line...
The Iraq elections may be a good thing, but much remains to be seen. I hope true democracy does come to Iraq, but elections are not democracy. May I assume that the Americans who voted for Bush are OK with the 1,400 dead American soldiers, 12,000 injured on "our side", more than 100,000 Iraqis killed, and $300-400 billion for the war and reconstruction costs--the price for exporting democracy, and that's only one country! Gee, isn't this more expensive that the whole Marshall plan for reconstructing Europe after WWII? Now, which is next? Syria, Iran, North Korea?
God forbid we pressure the Saudis, the Jordanians, or the Egyptians! At least, we have Cuba under control, no?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, if CNN and rest of the mainstream media are saying "the transition of power in Iraq" it must be true...
Yet the Iraqis have no control over their own oil, no authority over the streets of Baghdad, let alone the rest of the country, no workable army or loyal police force. Their only power is that of the American military and its 150 000 soldiers whom we could all see on the main intersections of Baghdad...

I wonder if they could ask us to leave?

John F K

Anonymous said...

Bringing democratic ideals to others is more effective when: we maintain an open, diverse society, with respect to human rights and social justice... when we lead the world because they respect us, because we help the less fortunate and because our country is at the edge of knowledge, science and modernity!

Those who are not ready or unwilling to follow our lead, will soon realize that our system has many advantages. We should encourage all democratic voices in the un-democratic countries. And, we should start with our allies! Otherwise, it seems that we price oil above democracy!

Cynthia Powers

Anonymous said...

It's clear to me that the US has become more realistic in Iraq. It is not looking to establish democracy there, but rather for an exit strategy. The key would be the controlling of the oil reserves and the un-interrupted flow to the US.
Dean R

Andros said...

From the ACLU web site:


Senate leadership is trying to steamroll the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General, but senators still have an opportunity to demand that Gonzales appoint an independent special counsel to investigate the development and implementation of U.S. interrogation and torture policies and to fully release all torture-related documents.

Despite loudly repeated demands by Congress and the American people, the Bush Administration has successfully blocked the release of an array of documents related to policy changes that paved the way for the horrors of Abu Ghraib and other American-operated detention facilities. These documents -- such as those on the “Top Ten List” of torture-related documents requested by the ACLU -- would help ensure the public and Congress have complete information about the development of policies that inevitably led to the use of torture by Americans.

It is also important that Gonzales agree to appoint an outside special counsel because already-released documents, including memoranda that were either written or requested by Gonzales, clearly show that top government officials considered and eventually ordered the removal of protections against many abusive detention and interrogation practices. Gonzales should not be allowed to head an investigation of matters that would include his own actions.

Take action! Urge your senators to demand torture-related documents and to get Gonzales to commit to appoint an outside special counsel to investigate any criminal conduct by civilians in ordering, or paving the way for, torture or abuse of prisoners.

The Bush Administration should immediately release all key torture-related documents. The ACLU has issued a Top Ten List of torture-related documents needed to shed light on the interrogation policies that authorized or allowed abuse or torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere. The Senate cannot meaningfully consider the Gonzales nomination without, at minimum, reviewing these documents. In addition, the Administration must commit to the prompt release of all other torture-related documents.

http://www.aclu.org/NationalSecurity/NationalSecurity.cfm?ID=17357&c=24

To contact your state's Senators:

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Anonymous said...

You forgot Pakistan--a military dictatorship and an unstable nuclear power!
As for the casualties, they're approaching what the Soviets had in Afganistan.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what the hell Bush is talking about. It's rather vague and an empty rhetoric. His foreign policy has precluded any such attempt of the US to bring more democracy to the world.
Bin Laden and many in the Muslim world believe that the US wants oil and to promote the decadent western culture by defeating Islamists. Well, Bush did what Bin Laden wished for. Our dependency on oil has been very costly to the country. Of course, I mean to the average American, not to the oil companies and all the other Carlyles and Haliburtons who are profiting imensely from this American foray into a bloody war.

Anne, NY