January 21, 2005

Bush: The Great Human Rights President

George W Bush says he is the exemplar of freedom and human rights. And he says that his America is the one, best savior of the oppressed.

Liberal Oasis points out that perhaps there is a bit of disconnect from reality in Bush's flight of rhetoric.

We will encourage reform in other governments by making clear that success in our relations will require the decent treatment of their own people.

Like how Bush made it clear to Uzbekistan, where he looked away at its boiling of dissidents as he strengthened our ties with the dictatorship.

And how’s this for “making clear”? According to Human Rights Watch:

In July, the U.S. State Department determined that Uzbekistan had failed to make sufficient progress on its human rights commitments as outlined in the U.S.-Uzbek Bilateral Agreement and therefore did not qualify for direct government assistance, cutting U.S. $18 million in aid.

However, in August, the Department of Defense undermined the principled message this decision sent by pledging U.S. $21 million in new military aid.

The U.S. continues to regard Uzbekistan as an important partner in the war on terror.

It must be nice to be GW Bush and have no conscience to have to appease.

Do go read the whole post, because LO notes that since Bush is using the rhetoric of human right groups, he is validating the human rights activists' assertion that the problems due to the oppressive dictators who terrorize their own population have to be addressed. Before Bush, the general attitude was "not my problem". Having Bush focus on human rights legitimizes having to address human rights issues.

Posted by Mary at January 21, 2005 12:42 AM | US Politics | Technorati links |

I literally wanted to puke while hearing Bush being sworn in for his second term on the radio while at work yesterday morning. I had to get up from my desk, walk around, and get some fresh air due to all the irony and hypocrisy of Bush's speech. Up is down and right is wrong. He speaks of supporting liberty, freedom, and free expression. That's funny since I have not heard of any plans to free Tibet or support Taiwan from the tyranny of China. There are no natural resources to exploit in the name of "freedom" in those regions that have desired liberation for several decades now. Freedom doesn't seem to be on the march in many African nations at this time or in the near future. Of course the most blatant disregard for free speech is the fact that within our own nation's capitol they have to confine and designate a free speech zone. This isn't new [with the same thing happening at the parties' conventions], but we, as citizens, should have a free speech zone that covers every square inch of this country. Or at least that is what I grew to believe before Bush took the office and subsequently begun the process of eroding our very own liberties in the name of the War on Terror. Bush plans to rid the world of tyranny, let him start by removing himself. And take Tom Delay with him and all his other cronies. This is a dark day in American History. Those that celebrate this inauguration have the unconscious or (scary enough) very conscious goal to bring about the End of Days. Those of us that are sensible and intellectually motivated have to join together and help protect our nation from the reactionary, self-destructive bearing our nation is currently on. Who do we have to lead us when we need progressive leadership more then ever?

Posted by: tabs at January 21, 2005 09:23 AM

As Jon Stewart said, when Bush was being sworn in, "49% of the country solemnly swore."

Posted by: natasha at January 21, 2005 03:43 PM

You sure quote allot from the "Human Rights Watch" - a known anti-American institution.

Can you point me to the links where this agency expressed their concerns against Saddam when he was killing hundreds of thousands of his own people? They seem to be missing from their site.

At their site under "Torture and Abuse" they seem to have missed posting all the torture done by Saddam as well as more current insurgent torturing - why is that? Duh.

If you are going to use some source how about a reputable source!

Posted by: Maddie Dog at January 21, 2005 04:39 PM

I would've listened to the Ignore-gural speech, but I was busy reading video game instructions. On my priority list, learning how to help Skippy the Grasshopper regain his stolen rucksack was more important than DUHbya's latest blitherings.

Just kidding. I heard most of it later and found the pauses between his sentences very useful for offering brief analysis; 'Liar' the analytical conclusion given most.

Posted by: Artie at January 21, 2005 10:47 PM

Maddie Dog - Read much before you speak? Every time a conservative discovers a cause, they think they found it first and that 'the left' has been mysteriously silent on it... but maybe because that's just because none of you are good at listening. Like when people who'd been signing petitions against the Taliban and trying to raise awareness for years were told that they didn't care about the women of Afghanistan, a cause 'discovered' by conservatives the month things started getting blown up.

I don't actually visit the Human Rights Watch site very often, but I looked them up on Google, clicked on the Middle Eastern countries link on their first page, clicked on the Iraq link, and found the first of 13 pages worth of reports on Iraq going back to 1991. IOW, it took under a minute to find the links you claim didn't exist. They wrote about it when it was happening, but like most websites, the information on their front page pertains to the most recent topics.

If you go here, to that 13th page, you will find links to multiple reports on Saddam's mistreatment of the Kurds, one on human rights in Iraq-occupied Kuwait, and one on the human rights situation in Iraq in general as of 1990 which is introduced as follows...

"A comprehensive investigation of brutal human rights violations told in chillingly dispassionate style, Human Rights in Iraq describes how the Ba’ath regime subjects Iraqi citizens to forced relocation and deportation, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, “disappearance,” and summary political execution. The book reveals the methods used by the Iraqi government to impose its rule and examines its treatment of the Kurds."

You may like to smear as anti-American anyone who points out the unpleasant things the US has been doing, but this group evenhandedly points out human rights abuses everywhere. Their front page currently has reports up about Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and others. They have a report up about the state of the landmine ban treaty's enforcement, and another on the use of child soldiers in a number of messy little wars that the US isn't directly involved in.

Wake up and realize that a) no society is perfect, and b) there's no fixing anything without admitting that a problem exists.

Posted by: natasha at January 22, 2005 01:58 PM

Excellent follow-up natasha. Liberals were on top of the human rights violations back in the 80's and 90's. It was people like Reagan and Bush Sr. that turned their back on the innocent loss of life, and people like Maddie Dog that did not give a damn until this Bush administration used such occurrences as retroactive excuses to invade Iraq.

Maddie Dog is used to having his/her political argument spoon feed, so actually trying to argue with people that are well informed is a feeble attempt at most.

Posted by: TABS at January 23, 2005 06:52 PM