Every time this administration starts talking, we should be prepared to duck and cover. Far from making our world a safer place to live, the Bush administration just keeps fanning the flames of war — everywhere — every time it gets the opportunity to do so.
Let’s take a look at the reactions to Dick Cheney’s recent speech yesterday in Lithuania:
“Cheney’s Sharp Criticism Miffs Russia” – Forbes
“Russian Media Warn of New Cold War” – Washington Post
“Kremlin Calls Cheney’s Remarks Completely Incomprehensible” – MosNews.com
“Cheney Turns Up Rhetorical Heat on Putin” – Wall Street Journal
“Cold War is reheated as Cheney tells off Moscow” – TimesOnline.co.uk
Here are a few sections from Cheney’s speech. It would seem irony is lost on this administration, as it continually points fingers at other nations regarding tyranny, repression, persecution and human rights.
“Regimes that repress and tyrannize their own people also threaten the peace and the stability of other lands. They feed rivalries and hatreds to obscure their own failings. They seek to impose their will by force, and they make our world more dangerous. We support democracy and reform, because governments accountable to their citizens are peaceful.”
They seek to impose their will by force, and they make our world more dangerous. Hmmmm…
“No one should have to live under repressive rule -??? denied the right to chart their own destiny, or persecuted for the beliefs they hold or the words they speak.”
You mean, like when liberals are called terrorist sympathizers or unpatriotic because they have different beliefs than this administration? Or do you mean like Cindy Sheehan being pulled out of a presidental address and arrested because she wore a shirt on that read, “2,245 Dead. How many more?” The list goes on…
President Yushchenko, also, has pointed out the difficulties of organizing a representative government in a country that had compromised the rule of law, little official respect for human rights, a corrupt bureaucracy, and an intimidated press corps.
Hmmm. Little respect for human rights (Gitmo, Abu Gharib), a corrupt bureaucracy (how many members of this administration and the Republican party in general are up against federal indictments?), and an intimidated press corps (which has been more than willing to take up any cause the Bush administration cares to peddle).
Yet healthy, self-governing, forward-looking societies have the same basic strengths. Democracy starts with citizens casting their votes, but that is only the beginning. Elections must be fair, and regular, and truly competitive.
Are you kidding me?? The Supreme Court of the United States of America intervened in a state election and installed George W. Bush as President of the United States of America. Elections must be fair, and regular, and truly competitive? What about all the illegal redistricting done by the GOP that has all but assured Republican victories in various localities around the US? And does truly competitive mean, for example, what happened to Max Cleland, where his opponent ran an ad picturing Cleland with Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden? Truly competitive? Or what about John Kerry, who was the subject of erroneous claims and debasements by the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth? Is that what Cheney means by truly competitive?? Oh wait a minute, Cheney answers that in the next quote:
In a free society, political parties must be able to function without harassment. Candidates must be able to seek resources and votes in a spirit of competition, not a climate of anxiety. There must be an active, independent news media to keep citizens informed, and to make possible the free exchange of ideas and debate. And election results must yield the voluntary and orderly transfer of power.
So this is another case of “do as I say, not as I do.” OK, Cheney, got it. When you read the next quote, think about all the illegal wiretapping that this administration has conducted. This administration has no respect for law. Who is Cheney kidding?
In a democracy, the state itself has only limited authority over the lives of its citizens, because the true strength of a nation is found in the institutions of civil society — the family, communities of worship, voluntary associations, and free enterprise. Each person is entitled to freedom of conscience — not merely the right to hold a religious belief, but to practice that belief and to share it with others. Citizens deserve basic guarantees of equal treatment under the law, and minority groups should be safe from oppression. Protecting civil society and upholding individual freedom requires the rule of law — and that is at the very heart of government’s reason for being. Government meets this obligation by ensuring an independent judiciary, a professional legal establishment, and honest, competent law enforcement.
And here’s another good one…
When power is accountable and the rule of law is secure, people have the confidence they need to start businesses, invest capital, and plan for the future.
Is that why we’ve basically had a jobless economic recovery in this country? Accountable power? Rule of law? Make me laugh, Cheney, make me laugh.
Nor do I need to remind anyone here just what the alternative is. You have seen it, and you have lived it — centralized control; intimidation of political opponents; unremitting corruption with an undercurrent of violence; economic stagnation; and national decline. That is a nightmare of history that no rational person would ever want to repeat.
That’s for sure! Um, can you and Bush resign NOW? All the sooner we can get back on the right track and end THIS nightmare of history that no rational person would ever want to repeat.
The spread of democracy is an unfolding of history; it is a benefit to all, and a threat to none.
Tell that to the families that have been displaced or who have had members killed because of our activities in the Middle East. Cheney concluded his speech, after pointing a harsh finger at Russia for its violation of democracy’s tenets, with these words:
We have learned, ladies and gentlemen, that the desire of human beings to be free is the most potent force on this Earth. Tyrants may, for a time, deny the hopes of others, violate the rights of others, and even take the lives of others. Yet they have no power to inspire hope or to raise the sights of a nation. The ideals that you and I believe in — liberty, and equality, and justice under law — speak to the best in mankind. We have seen these ideals lift up whole countries and secure generations of peace. And we will see that promise renewed in our own time, in places near and far. So let us persevere in freedom’s cause — united, confident, and unafraid.
I think that speaks for itself. The question is, will the Democratic party continue to merely be the “Republican alternative,” or will it truly get its act together and decide that it believes in core values that it is willing to share with the American people, and that it wishes to offer a vision of inspiration and a raising of sights to this great Nation?