Below is my running commentary on Bush’s inaugural speech. Too bad heckling the president is a federal crime.
….We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.
And have you notified the leaders of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, China and Uzbekistan that you’re going to make bringing liberty and freedom to their lands the number-one national security priority for your administration?
America’s vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government.
Is that why we overthrew democratic governments in Iran and Chile and cozied up to the racist regime in South Africa? for years.
So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.
What have you done lately to support the democrats of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Russia, or China?
This is not primarily the task of arms, though we will defend ourselves and our friends by force of arms when necessary. Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen.
Did Iraqis choose to be invaded and occupied in a fashion that has led to tens of thousands of Iraqi civilian deaths?
America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way.
So why did your administration impose its choice for Iraqi interim president upon the UN official in charge of selecting the person for that post?
The difficulty of the task is no excuse for avoiding it. America’s influence is not unlimited, but fortunately for the oppressed, America’s influence is considerable, and we will use it confidently in freedom’s cause.
After the first Persian Gulf War, the Kuwait government promised to implement democratic reforms. It has not kept its promises, Have you used his considerable influence to promote freedom and democracy there?
We will encourage reform in other governments by making clear that success in our relations will require the decent treatment of their own people.