September 21, 2006

Freedom On The March - NOT!

WaPo highlights some major discrepancies in Bush's 'Freedom Agenda':
With the president's attention focused on the Middle East, the state of democracy elsewhere in the world does not rate as high on his priority list...

"The president's freedom agenda is inherently selective," said Thomas Carothers, head of the democracy project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "We care very much about democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq, but . . . Thailand's just not part of the story, so this falls off the map a bit."

Thailand is hardly the only example. Bush strongly supports Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani president who took power in a military coup, and plans to meet with him at the White House twice in the next week. Bush will also host Kazakhstan's president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, at the end of next week despite the suppression of opposition parties, newspapers and human rights groups in the oil-rich Central Asian republic.

The administration has likewise embraced autocratic leaders in such disparate places as Azerbaijan and Ethiopia while generally tempering criticism of anti-democratic policies in Russia and China. Even in the Middle East, Bush has treaded lightly in nudging allies such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia to reform...

In Ukraine, the popular coalition that led the "Orange Revolution" of December 2004 has splintered and the new prime minister is the same one the street protests targeted. In Kyrgyzstan, the brother of the president who took office after the revolution of March 2005 has been accused of trying to frame an opposition leader by planting a heroin-filled wooden doll in his luggage.
Even if you judge his record on his own terms, Bush has been a failure.


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