Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community  

Go Back   Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community > The Academy > Tilted Politics


 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-28-2005, 10:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
Banned
 
Was it More Balls or Hypocrisy to Publicly Lecture Putin About Democracy?

Considering the recent U.S. record, documented below, have time and events marginalized the ability of Presiident Bush to be taken seriously by Putin and the rest of the world when he made the comments to Putin, quoted below?

Is it a matter of degree? Does the argument that, under Bush's policies, the U.S. has only been complicit in the torture and or denial of the right of due process to only a relatively few number of suspects, and still conducts the business of government with enough transparency as to render Putin's response, mute?

How many can we ship to other jusrisdictions to be tortured, or held indefinitely without hearing and defending against charges of criminality in a legally recognized court of law, before Putin's rebuttal to Bush has merit, and before we lose the precepts for what we supposedly are fighting in combat for ?

How much more transparency and accountability of the U.S. executive branch and of the congress will have to be eroded before Putin is right?

Are we not already in a crises if it seems to some of us that Putin's responses to Bush's reprimands were less hypocritical and more accurate than what Bush had to say.....in front of the world ?

Bush has proclaimed an American mission of "bringing democracy to the world". Has he made decisions that have resulted in policies and in publicity that is too contradictory and damaging to his leadership in making his goal happen, to still make it possible to muster support here in the U.S. and in the western world?
Quote:
<a href="http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/spiegel/0,1518,343994,00.html">http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/spiegel/0,1518,343994,00.html</a>
Welcome to Bushland

.....Then the topic turned to freedom and democracy. Bush had mentioned deficiencies in this regard -- he was referring to Russia, not to the United States.

Russia, Putin answered, embarked on a road to democracy 14 years ago. "This is our final choice and we have no way back," he added. Bush said it was Putin's most important statement of the summit. It was exactly the sentence he had wanted to hear.

Had anything like this happened before? An American and Russian head of state discussing democracy and criticizing one another? Was it historic?

A Russian reporter took the opportunity to go on the counterattack against America. In a long-winded question he addressed the issue of democracy in America, but managed to say almost nothing. In fact, the Russian reporter could have saved his breath and mentioned no more than three words, "Guantanamo" and "Abu Ghraib." He might also have chosen to mention "Florida 2000."

When Bushland goes traveling, security is priority number one.
Zoom
DPA
When Bushland goes traveling, security is priority number one.
Put as it was, the question was easy for Bush. He was already grinning while listening, and then was clearly pleased to launch into a tribute to American values, human dignity and distribution of power. Nevertheless, it is possible that he sensed, at that very moment, that the new European-American relations will no longer be a one-way street, and that he can expect Europeans to be judging him in the future, even when it comes to his domestic policies.

Freedom and democracy are, after all, his values, his favorite catchphrases. George W. Bush had come to Europe to deliver a simple message: democracy begets freedom begets security begets a peaceful world. This is his belief.............
Quote:
<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/28/opinion/28herbert.html">http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/28/opinion/28herbert.html</a>
It's Called Torture (Op Ed By BOB HERBERT Published: February 28, 2005)
................
Mr. Arar was the victim of an American policy that is known as extraordinary rendition. That's a euphemism. What it means is that the United States seizes individuals, presumably terror suspects, and sends them off without even a nod in the direction of due process to countries known to practice torture.

A Massachusetts congressman, Edward Markey, has taken the eminently sensible step of introducing legislation that would ban this utterly reprehensible practice. In a speech on the floor of the House, Mr. Markey, a Democrat, said: "Torture is morally repugnant whether we do it or whether we ask another country to do it for us. It is morally wrong whether it is captured on film or whether it goes on behind closed doors unannounced to the American people."

Unfortunately, the outlook for this legislation is not good. I asked Pete Jeffries, the communications director for House Speaker Dennis Hastert, if the speaker supported Mr. Markey's bill. After checking with the policy experts in his office, Mr. Jeffries called back and said: "The speaker does not support the Markey proposal. He believes that suspected terrorists should be sent back to their home countries."

Surprised, I asked why suspected terrorists should be sent anywhere. Why shouldn't they be held by the United States and prosecuted?

"Because," said Mr. Jeffries, "U.S. taxpayers should not necessarily be on the hook for their judicial and incarceration costs."

It was, perhaps, the most preposterous response to any question I've ever asked as a journalist. It was not by any means an accurate reflection of Bush administration policy. All it indicated was that the speaker's office does not understand this issue, and has not even bothered to take it seriously.

More important, it means that torture by proxy, close kin to contract murder, remains all right. Congressman Markey's bill is going nowhere. Extraordinary rendition lives.

<a href="
http://www.axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/article_15864.shtml">OUTSOURCING TORTURE</a>
By JANE MAYER
Feb 22, 2005, 22:05

On January 27th, President Bush, in an interview with the Times, assured the world that “torture is never acceptable, nor do we hand over people to countries that do torture.” Maher Arar, a Canadian engineer who was born in Syria, was surprised to learn of Bush’s statement. Two and a half years ago, American officials, suspecting Arar of being a terrorist, apprehended him in New York and sent him back to Syria, where he endured months of brutal interrogation, including torture. When Arar described his experience in a phone interview recently, he invoked an Arabic expression. The pain was so unbearable, he said, that “you forget the milk that you have been fed from the breast of your mother.”,,,,,,,,,,,
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,During the flight, Arar said, he heard the pilots and crew identify themselves in radio communications as members of “the Special Removal Unit.” The Americans, he learned, planned to take him next to Syria. Having been told by his parents about the barbaric practices of the police in Syria, Arar begged crew members not to send him there, arguing that he would surely be tortured. His captors did not respond to his request; instead, they invited him to watch a spy thriller that was aired on board.
Quote:
<a href="http://makethemaccountable.com/articles/Ohio_s_Odd_Numbers.htm">http://makethemaccountable.com/articles/Ohio_s_Odd_Numbers.htm</a>
Vanity Fair
March 2005

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS

OHIO’S ODD NUMBERS

No conspiracy theorist, and no fan of John Kerry’s, the author nevertheless found the Ohio polling results impossible to swallow: Given what happened in that key state on Election Day 2004, both democracy and common sense cry out for a court-ordered inspection of its new voting machines
........................................Whichever way you shake it, or hold it to the light, there is something about the Ohio election that refuses to add up. The sheer number of irregularities compelled a formal recount, which was completed in late December and which came out much the same as the original one, with 176 fewer votes for George Bush. But this was a meaningless exercise in reassurance, since there is simply no means of checking, for example, how many “vote hops” the computerized machines might have performed unnoticed.

There are some other, more random factors to be noted. The Ohio secretary of state, Kenneth Blackwell, was a state co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign at the same time as he was discharging his responsibilities for an aboveboard election in his home state. Diebold, which manufactures paper-free, touch-screen voting machines, likewise has its corporate headquarters in Ohio. Its chairman, president, and C.E.O., Walden O’Dell, is a prominent Bush supporter and fund-raiser who proclaimed in 2003 that he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.” (See “Hack the Vote,” by Michael Shnayerson, Vanity Fair, April 2004.) Diebold, together with its competitor, E.S.&S., counts more than half the votes cast in the United States. This not very acute competition is perhaps made still less acute by the fact that a vice president of E.S.&S. and a Diebold director of strategic services are brothers..............................................

I am not any sort of statistician or technologist, and (like many Democrats in private) I did not think that John Kerry should have been president of any country at any time. But I have been reviewing books on history and politics all my life, making notes in the margin when I come across a wrong date, or any other factual blunder, or a missing point in the evidence. No book is ever free from this. But if all the mistakes and omissions occur in such a way as to be consistent, to support or attack only one position, then you give the author a lousy review. The Federal Election Commission, which has been a risible body for far too long, ought to make Ohio its business. The Diebold company, which also manufactures A.T.M.s, should not receive another dime until it can produce a voting system that is similarly reliable. And Americans should cease to be treated like serfs or extras when they present themselves to exercise their franchise.
Quote:
<a href="http://www.amnestyusa.org/countries/usa/document.do?id=569CFC5E8511F73585256FB60053F851">http://www.amnestyusa.org/countries/usa/document.do?id=569CFC5E8511F73585256FB60053F851</a>
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PRESS RELEASE

February 28, 2005
Detention and Torture Outsourced to Countries Condemned by US Report
Presidential Pledge to Not Excuse Oppressors Compromised

(Washington, DC) – Amnesty International warned today that, while the Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices are consistent and comprehensive, the Bush Administration's practice of "rendering" detainees to countries that the report cites as having abysmal human rights records, runs the risk of turning the report into a guide to overseas torture subcontractors.

Although President Bush, in his inauguration address, stated that "all who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors," Amnesty International's analysis reveals that the US may be continuing to subcontract detention and interrogation to those very same oppressors. The organization called on Secretary of State Rice to state unequivocally that no agent of the United States government has the authority to participate in delivering detainees to countries where torture is practiced and that any such participation will be investigated and prosecuted.

"Just as many corporations monitor wage rates worldwide to shift their operations to the lowest-cost producers, the Bush Administration has demonstrated a keen appreciation for the torture skills available for hire in certain nations. The State Department's carefully compiled record of countries' abuses may perversely have been transformed into a Yellow Pages for the outsourcing of torture," said Dr. William F. Schulz, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA (AIUSA). "The government's integrity is damaged if with one hand it collates a detailed index of human rights abuses and with the other mines that data as it plots arrests, detentions and interrogations. This administration is apparently dealing from both sides of the deck, condemning countries for their use of torture while simultaneously delivering detainees into their prison cells."

..............Amnesty International also reiterated that in contrast to the country reports, the Administration's policies on human rights are inconsistent and inattentive with an increasingly myopic policy focus on some states to the almost total exclusion of others.
..........."US pressure can be highly effective in winning progress both in individual human rights cases and in ending oppressive polices, but there is a lack of interest in applying that pressure to foreign governments who fall outside the scope of the current Administration's priorities," said Alexandra Arriaga, Director of Government Relations for AIUSA. "Equally, criticism of the catalogue of abuses committed by US allies will be muted after today's release of the report, with human rights concerns sacrificed for political expediency."
The U.S. State Department issued it's own "human rights" report today,
criticizing Russia and Saudi Arabia.

I trust what my research shows our "democracy president's" administration to
actually be doing, instead of what these unindicted war criminals in the executive branch are saying.
host is offline  
Old 02-28-2005, 11:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
NCB
Junkie
 
NCB's Avatar
 
Location: Tobacco Road
Intresting compilation. I noticed the Ohio thingy in there as well. Is that an indication that liberals will continue to fight the '04 election much as they did FLA 2000? In the words of a famous Dem website, "Moveon". But I regress.


As far as the litany of complaints (no offense, but I'm not sure how else to describe them), the whole due process rights for non citizens puzzles me more than any other. I understand that you believe that they have the same due process rights as American citizens, but you make no argument as to why they deserve them. Thus, I'm gonna throw the ball in back in your court and ask you why you think they are entitled to American due process rights.
NCB is offline  
Old 02-28-2005, 11:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
Rail Baron
 
stevo's Avatar
 
Location: Tallyfla
What is this? I thought you were going to post what went on between bush and putin, or at least what bush said while over in europe? Instead all I read were snippits from an amnesty international press release and some editorials. Oh, don't forget the vanity fair piece about how 2004 was stolen, too. How many different ways can one say "Get over it?"
stevo is offline  
Old 02-28-2005, 11:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
Cracking the Whip
 
Lebell's Avatar
 
Location: Sexymama's arms...
I believe there is a formal name for the argument/debate tactic of throwing so much information (related or not) into the debate the the otherside is simply incapable of responding due to shear volume.

If anyone happens to recall it, I would appreciate it.

As to this post, I agree with the above.

The 2000/2004 election material has nothing to do with the thread title or main argument.
__________________
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." – C. S. Lewis

The ONLY sponsors we have are YOU!

Please Donate!
Lebell is offline  
Old 02-28-2005, 12:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
....is off his meds...you were warned.
 
KMA-628's Avatar
 
Location: The Wild Wild West
The Blitzkrieg?
KMA-628 is offline  
Old 02-28-2005, 12:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: Austin, TX
Comparing Bush and Putin on democracy, in my opinion is a joke.

Bush said:
Quote:
"Democracies always reflect a country's culture and customs and I know that.

"But they have certain things in common. They have rule of law, and protection of minorities, a free press and a viable political opposition."
I would say the US under Bush qualifies.

PS. I think the Russian reporter actually thought Bush fired the guys at CBS of the Rathergate scandal.
retsuki03 is offline  
Old 02-28-2005, 12:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
Banned
 
The only things missing in the responses so far, are questions about me misplacing my tin foil hat and references to the X-Files.

I think differently than Bush supporters. I am aware that ninety-four percent of
the people in the world are not Americans. Of the six percent who are American,
I'm guessing that less than a third, (under 2 percent of the people in the world),
dismiss perceptions and reactively defend Bush and his governemt and it's policies. They do this to such a degree that they see no need to debate, or
defend. They think that they hold a mainstream view, and that, if they repeat the same reaction often enough, "get over it", "move on", that the substance
of the criticism of Bush and the damage to worldwide perceptions that it does,
will disappear.

No Bushvolk.....read the observations about the 2004 election in Ohio. Most
people will find them to be measured, reasonable, and substantative. It isn't
"over", because the stench caused by electronic voting with software that is
not open to examination for integrity and votes that cannot be physically recounted, with machines provided mostly by two companies that are headed by partisan relatives, makes Bush and the U.S. an easy target for the following, and divides voters in the U.S. and thus erodes Bush's potential support:
Quote:
<a href="http://www.mosnews.com/news/2004/12/23/uselections.shtml">http://www.mosnews.com/news/2004/12/23/uselections.shtml</a>
Elections in U.S. and Ukraine Equally Bad — Putin

Created: 23.12.2004 15:38 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 15:38 MSK

MosNews

Russia has every reason to criticize the United States, President Vladimir Putin said at a Kremlin press conference.

“We’re also not too happy about what’s going on in the United States,” the Russian Information Agency Novosti quoted him as saying. “Do you think that the electoral system in the United States is without problems? Is it necessary to recall how the elections went this time and the previous time?”

The president also noted that OSCE observers described elections in the Ukraine and the United States in practically the same terms.

“They mentioned that not all voters were permitted into the polling stations, some were even intimidated; that candidates did not have equal access to the media,” Putin said.

The comments were made in response to criticism from the West about the struggling status of democracy in Russia.

“Whenever the criticism is constructive, we always pay attention,” Putin said, while ignoring criticism that is repetitive and unfounded.

In the same press conference, the president, however, said that he completely trusted President George W. Bush despite disagreements.
NCB, Jose Padilla is a U.S. citizen who has not been charged with anything, but is in his third year of confinement. Has the Bush administration been correct about enough in it's tenure to cede to it the determination of who is
a non-citizen detainee who is ineligible to exercise legal rights? If that were
the case, why is the main prison for the questionably detained, located outside U.S. borders.

Can;t you see that the world now prejudges Bush in a similar way to your
reaction to me ? You first react to my authorship of a post or a thread, and
then, you are disposed to either dismiss entirely the reference material that I post, or you skim it lightly before dismissing it more quickly than you would if someone else....say, a newcomer to TFP Politics, posted it.

And so it is with Bush. Isolated, marginalized, defended by a very small number who mistakenly believe that theu and their president are mainstream in their thinking, and that the rest of us belong under pointed metal, hats.
host is offline  
Old 02-28-2005, 12:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
Cracking the Whip
 
Lebell's Avatar
 
Location: Sexymama's arms...
You still don't get it.

It isn't whether or not you choose to believe that there was something wrong with Ohio, the point is THAT IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE THREAD.

You want to talk about the election, fine, talk about the election. If you want to talk about Bush and Putin, talk about Bush and Putin, but please stop throwing in the kitchen sink everytime you start another anti-bush thread.
__________________
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." – C. S. Lewis

The ONLY sponsors we have are YOU!

Please Donate!
Lebell is offline  
Old 02-28-2005, 12:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: Austin, TX
I think he is saying that the supposed problem with voting in Ohio serves as a valid criticism of American democracy by Putin.
retsuki03 is offline  
Old 02-28-2005, 01:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
Cracking the Whip
 
Lebell's Avatar
 
Location: Sexymama's arms...
Quote:
Originally Posted by retsuki03
I think he is saying that the supposed problem with voting in Ohio serves as a valid criticism of American democracy by Putin.
The problem is, where does it stop?

I mean, if I were playing devil's advocate, I could drag in past adminstration's support of dictators, the oppression of slaves, the taking of the land from Native Americans, European imperialism, Stalin, ad naseum.

But John Kerry didn't fight even as hard as Gore did over the election results, nor do any major democratic players that I know of dispute the 2004 election results.

So I still don't see the point of muddying a post to the point that you are discussing 3 or 4 issues.
__________________
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." – C. S. Lewis

The ONLY sponsors we have are YOU!

Please Donate!
Lebell is offline  
Old 02-28-2005, 02:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
Kiss of Death
 
Location: Perpetual wind and sorrow
John Kerry and the democrats are members of the Bushco/Bushworld, that's why there was no fuss after the election.
__________________
To win a war you must serve no master but your ambition.
Mojo_PeiPei is offline  
Old 02-28-2005, 04:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by host
The only things missing in the responses so far, are questions about me misplacing my tin foil hat and references to the X-Files.

I think differently than Bush supporters. I am aware that ninety-four percent of
the people in the world are not Americans. Of the six percent who are American,
I'm guessing that less than a third, (under 2 percent of the people in the world),
dismiss perceptions and reactively defend Bush and his governemt and it's policies. They do this to such a degree that they see no need to debate, or
defend. They think that they hold a mainstream view, and that, if they repeat the same reaction often enough, "get over it", "move on", that the substance
of the criticism of Bush and the damage to worldwide perceptions that it does,
will disappear.

No Bushvolk.....read the observations about the 2004 election in Ohio. Most
people will find them to be measured, reasonable, and substantative. It isn't
"over", because the stench caused by electronic voting with software that is
not open to examination for integrity and votes that cannot be physically recounted, with machines provided mostly by two companies that are headed by partisan relatives, makes Bush and the U.S. an easy target for the following, and divides voters in the U.S. and thus erodes Bush's potential support:


NCB, Jose Padilla is a U.S. citizen who has not been charged with anything, but is in his third year of confinement. Has the Bush administration been correct about enough in it's tenure to cede to it the determination of who is
a non-citizen detainee who is ineligible to exercise legal rights? If that were
the case, why is the main prison for the questionably detained, located outside U.S. borders.

Can;t you see that the world now prejudges Bush in a similar way to your
reaction to me ? You first react to my authorship of a post or a thread, and
then, you are disposed to either dismiss entirely the reference material that I post, or you skim it lightly before dismissing it more quickly than you would if someone else....say, a newcomer to TFP Politics, posted it.

And so it is with Bush. Isolated, marginalized, defended by a very small number who mistakenly believe that theu and their president are mainstream in their thinking, and that the rest of us belong under pointed metal, hats.
Your article mentions remarks by Vladamir Putin. He also thought that Bush had executives fired by CBS. That is clearly wrong-the CBS investigation and subsequent firings/resignings were an internal affair. Why would he have any more grasp on the American election process?

You also reference one article, then extrapolate that as the world opinion. This is one article refering to the remarks of certain officials who certainly have an agenda. How is that showing that "the world prejudges Bush"?

The reason that many people may prejudge your posts and links is because they are all about the same thing-how Bush/America is bad. You make conjectures that are not logically supported by what links you might post. You post opinion pieces as fact, then complain when they are questioned. Why should any who disagree give you any credibility? It is clear you have an agenda, and it is also clear you have no respect for any who oppose your beliefs.

Seriously, who is your target audience? You don't think that those with differing opinions are intelligent enough to change opinion based on facts/logic, so that can't be your audience. And you also don't have any respect for what those opinions might be, so debate cannot be the reason. Is it just to expose more supposed evils of Bush to people who already disagree with you? Is it just to prove how correct you are to everyone else?
alansmithee is offline  
Old 02-28-2005, 04:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
Loser
 
I don't understand the backlash this thread has received. The first post seems very well connected to the thread title.

Host questions how Bush could question anyone on the tenets of democracy. To support this opinion that Bush is to democracy as oil is to water, Host posted links to a few articles. The first article is simply a statement of the uniquness of Russia and the U.S. discussing each others respective forms of democracy. The second article discusses the U.S. action of outsourcing torture, surely anti-democractic. The third article discusses inefficiencies in the election process in the U.S. (is the election process not the cornerstone of democracy? when any other nation has issues with their elections, are they not questioned on their ability to maintain democracy?). And the fourth article is similar to the second.

So why are most of the responses to this thread along the lines of "you have no point".

Yes he does, and he initiated it quite well.
Manx is offline  
Old 02-28-2005, 08:32 PM   #14 (permalink)
Somnabulist
 
guy44's Avatar
 
Location: corner of No and Where
To try and stay on topic as much as possible - I think very lowly of Bush. I have made it pretty clear that I think Bush is the scum of the earth. But then I have to snap out of it and remember that things could be worse.

For example, Bush could be Putin.

As horrid a fake president as Bush may be, he isn't even close to Putin. They aren't even in the same league; its like comparing a little leaguer to Barry Bonds. Bush may pull a lot of shit, and do things I consider undemocratic, but Bush at his worst is 10,000 times more democratic than Putin, or Castro, or a dozens of other world leaders. So no, it is not hypocritical of Bush to lecture Putin on democracy.
__________________
"You have reached Ritual Sacrifice. For goats press one, or say 'goats.'"
guy44 is offline  
Old 03-01-2005, 05:47 AM   #15 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: Austin, TX
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
John Kerry and the democrats are members of the Bushco/Bushworld, that's why there was no fuss after the election.

I think the conspiracy theories go in another section.
retsuki03 is offline  
Old 03-02-2005, 03:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: Fünland
I think that the main problem in analyzing Russian politics is that we (I believe most of us at least - I do know how to book a hotel reservation, say hello and order vodka in russian, doesn't help much) have is that we have no real access to the public discussion of domestic politics in Russia due language barrier. Of course we can read the commentary coming out from there in english or other languages or reports written by specialists of varying degree. There is of course a number of translations available from Russian commentators, but most of those that I have read come from writers that are critical of the government (like Politkovskaya and the war in Chechenya, for example). Maybe it seems a bit absurd to state that "we cannot know, because we don't understand" but I think there is a grain of truth in it - how would people react if I referred only to sources written in french about US politics? I mean, how many here can even label four major parties in Russian politics without consulting the internet?

Due this point and some other ones tied more to historical relations between the western world and Russia, I'd say that Russia remains a rather enigmatic country to most of us. Even to me and I only have to drive 400 km to be there. It appears that people tend to say stuff about Russia without really understanding it at all. Though I admit that I can be affected by the (academic) finnish understanding of history where Russia has always been a puzzle that requires constant reanalyzing, or things are made far too simple.

That being said, I think it is very useful (?) to lecture to Putin about democracy - considering that the development there is very worrying. I wouldn't even call it hypocrisy even if I do not love Bush. In a fact, I find it totally irrelevant what is the situation in USA. The main point is that democracy in Russia is in trouble and the problem needs to be addressed.
__________________
"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face -- forever."
-G.O.
oktjabr is offline  
Old 03-09-2005, 11:26 AM   #17 (permalink)
Banned
 
When I conceived the idea for this thread topic, I couldn't make
my point as well as this gentleman has done:
Quote:
<a href="http://www.oldamericancentury.org/dave300029.htm">http://www.oldamericancentury.org/dave300029.htm</a>
Oh George – You Can’t Be Serious!

By W. David Jenkins III

"Democracies have certain things in common. They have a rule of law, and protection of minorities, a free press, and a viable political opposition." – George W. Bush

Y’know, you've really got to give George credit. There he was standing next to his ol’ pal, “Pootie Poot,” at a press conference during his recent fence-mending trip to Europe and he never even cracked a smirk when he uttered those words. After a private meeting with the man whose soul Bush had looked into years ago, the accidental leader of the not-so-free world gently chided the Russian leader with words so hypocritical – it was truly astounding. And Bush was actually able to keep a straight face.

I, on the other hand, sprayed a mouthful of coffee all over my TV screen. I really hate it when that happens.

Now, I always thought we lived in a democracy, at least that’s what I was always taught in school, but after listening to Bush’s description of democracy that day I may have to reconsider things. Although George is big on platitudes when describing “American values,” he seems to be completely oblivious to fact that he and his administration have made great inroads towards the destruction of those very things he was rubbing Putin’s face in.

I can’t imagine what was going through Vladimir ’s mind — or any other knowledgeable person in that room — as Bush was rambling on about something he knew nothing about. Maybe that little saying about people in glass houses might have come to mind.

Rule of Law?

C’mon, George, give it a rest. You’ve pretty much broken every one of the Ten Commandments you keep going on about.

Your administration has zero respect for any rule of law. The invasion of Iraq was a violation of international law. Somebody in the White House broke a federal law in the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. The GAO stated the use of taxpayer money to make and distribute fake “news” documentaries to further an agenda was against the law. Torture is against the law. Arresting people without charge and holding them indefinitely is against the law. Shall we go on?

This administration has shown more contempt and fear of the rule of law than it has shown any respect for it at all — and the rule of law is one of the basic building blocks upon which the Constitution stands. From stone-walling the 9/11 investigation to withholding documentation of Cheney’s Energy Commission participants, the Bush administration has flaunted its disregard of the rule of law as something that shouldn’t apply to them.

Its attitude is shamefully in full view when it comes to the horror and bloodshed taking place this very second in Darfur . In early February, members of the Bush administration were sneaking around the UN in an effort to block the prosecution of Sudanese officials responsible for the continuing slaughter of innocent men, women and children in that country.

Why? Because these prosecutions would take place in the International Criminal Court and the Bushies don’t want to legitimize that court.

Why? Because the Bushies are afraid that, because of their actions, they might be dragged in front of that court. Of course, they state that they’re concerned about “Americans being prosecuted,” but let’s get real. The only “Americans” they’re trying to protect are themselves.

Rule of law, indeed!

And what’s all this about the protection of minorities? Didn’t anybody ever tell George that the only reason he is where he is was due to the suppression of the minority vote? Remember the purged voters these last two elections, George? Or the lack of adequate voting machines in predominantly minority districts? How about your pledge to change the Constitution to discriminate against a certain minority group in order to “save” the marriages of your gullible flock?

The one that really got me was the reference to Russia 's lack of “free press.” He shot that one straight into his good pal Vladimir after the whole world had enjoyed a few weeks of reports about your own tax dollars having been used to pay conservative pundits to do what they would’ve done for free anyway. And then – imagine if it were Clinton – a fake journalist moonlighted as a gay hooker (er, “escort”) using a fake name and spending two years in the White House press room lobbing questions as soft as flower petals at Ari, Scott and George. Meanwhile, the Bush “free press” has been running willy-nilly away from this story because the bloggers who did all the work and broke the story have shown the mainstream corporate media to be the lazy, pandering mouthpieces they truly are.

And just how “free” can the press be when the corporations that own them have other interests?

Let’s take, for instance, MSNBC. One of the corporations owning that particular cable news channel is General Electric. GE expects to have approximately $3 billion of contract work in Iraq by the year 2006, much of that being tied to rebuilding the infrastructure in that country. Now, if the success in fulfilling the terms of those contracts is dependent upon the security of Iraq, how tolerant will GE’s shareholders be if a news outlet it owns starts going on about the insecurity in that country? Talk about a quagmire.

This was one of the reasons that the corporate heads got rid of Phil Donahue a few years back. “Donahue” was MSNBC’s highest-rated show at the time and, despite the micro-managing by the stuffed suits, the ratings continued to show a steady improvement. But with the drums of war echoing in their ears and the shills and Kool-Aid drinkers at Fox News beating them in the ratings, MSNBC caved completely and dumped Donahue — using the laughable reason of “low ratings.” Then, in a complete and transparent about-face, they went out and hired the certifiably insane Mike Savage (until his rotten mouth cost him his job) and Joe “what-dead-intern-in-my-office” Scarborough to kind of “balance” their line up. In other words, it was safer to try to outfox Fox than offer a balance against Fox so they sacrificed journalism and open and honest debate for a seat on the bandwagon.

MSNBC isn’t the only culprit.

The alleged “free press” (aka liberal media) is rife with right-wing apologists like Blitzer, Woodruff and that gawd-awful Howie Kurtz from CNN. Then there’s Sinclair’s grip on ABC and their owner Disney, who got all shaky legged when it came time to distribute Fahrenheit 9/11 last year – thus depriving shareholders of some big-time profits. There was also the problem of honoring the war dead on “Nightline” because the Sinclair gang felt it was propaganda.

Then, of course, there’s CBS selling its own down the river over “RatherGate” while ignoring the fact that the information on those notorious documents has been shown to be accurate by those who were familiar with Bush’s AWOL. Then you have CNBC giving neo-newcomer Dennis Miller a job because nobody was paying any attention to him before anyway. I could go on flaying the bones of these dead horses, but I'll leave sadism for those who are really good at it.

I guess, in some ways, one could say that we have a free press. It’s free from any accuracy, journalistic integrity and investigative talent. Even Bob Woodward had to admit recently that if Watergate had happened today, Nixon would have gotten away with it.

Now, about this “viable political opposition” nonsense – George is really stretching things. Granted, the lack of opposition is not all George’s fault. Let’s face it: the majority of the so-called opposition has been playing “footsie” with Bush and the Republicans for over four years now and any time one dares speak up, the GOP hangs ‘em out to dry and lets the free press beat on ‘em for a week or so.

Of course, it doesn’t help matters when you have a snake like Tom DeLay redrawing voting districts in Texas (one district looks like a 300 mile bar-bell) and you have conservative leaders talking about going “nuclear” on the opposition so they can get even more radical right-wing judges appointed. The opposition Bush espoused to Putin that day has pretty much spent the last four years (in his own back yard) being squashed like a bug any time one of 'em slips out from under his faux cowboy boot..

So, in light of the fact that America under King George wildly contradicts his own description of a democracy, I really have to wonder just where I live or what system of government we have now. And I really have to wonder if Bush is so divorced from reality (sorry, I couldn’t resist) that he actually believes his statement resembles America today.

If that’s the case, I better start keeping a towel or something near my TV set. There’s no telling what nonsense will come out of his mouth next.
host is offline  
 

Tags
balls, democracy, hypocrisy, lecture, publicly, putin

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:37 PM.

Tilted Forum Project

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
© 2002-2012 Tilted Forum Project

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360