Friday, January 21, 2005

I WAS READING AN ARTICLE in the Washington Post about the inauguration, and was feeling nauseated and experiencing cognitive dissonance at passages like this:

From now on, Bush said, relations with "every ruler and every nation" will be predicated on how they treat their own people, a profound break from traditional U.S. policy and from the Bush administration's practices in his first term, when it worked with repressive governments in the war against terrorism. In his doctrine for the next four years, Bush presented the United States as a beacon for the subjugated around the world and promised to confront the despots who enchain them.

"All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors," Bush told tens of thousands of onlookers from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in a 21-minute address in which he used the words "free," "freedom" or "liberty" 49 times. "When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you."

This is absolutely unbelievable that he's saying this, I was thinking, when his administration has imprisoned thousands of Arabs and Muslims with no charges or trial for well over two years; and when his attorney general says the Geneva Convention is only for people we like; and when his administration is turning over for interrogation hundreds and maybe thousands of captured prisoners to countries notorious for violations of human rights; and when his administration has transferred authority for secret military operations from the CIA to the Pentagon in order to avoid legal requirements to inform Congress about such operations; and when his administration is using the worst natural disaster in a century and possibly ever to reestablish military ties with Indonesia, one of the world's most corrupt and abusive governments.

And I was feeling so alienated from this news coverage that did not seem to be pointing out any of these things I was thinking.

And then I saw this headline link, also in the Washington Post: "Analysts Note Gap Between Bush Rhetoric and Reality." I clicked on it and, lo and behold! An article that said exactly the kind of things I had been thinking! Now I did not feel so alone anymore.

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