Friday, February 25, 2005

Chastizing Putin

It boggles the mind that President Bush could stand on the dais next to Vladimir Putin in Bratislava yesterday and declare that "I've got a very good personal relationship with President Putin, and that's important. And it's important because it enables me and our country to remind President Putin that democracies are based upon rule of law and the respect for human rights and human dignity and a free press."

At this juncture; during a U.S. military occupation of Iraq; amid revelations that the U.S. military and other intelligence workers have systematically tortured prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan; amid revelations that the Bush administration has illegally, and again, systematically, paid American journalists to report propaganda for its policy initiatives (the "No Child Left Behind" Act as endorsed by Armstrong Williams, and the Medicare prescription drug benefit as "reported" by Karen Ryan, to name just two); amid revelations that much of the USA Patriot Act which the administration worked so assiduously to pass has been found unconstitutional (the list could go on for a number of pages); I find it unbelievable that President Bush could cite any recent American examples backing up his reminder to Putin.

When I read President Bush's quote, the only thing I'm reminded of is that he and his administration have done more to undermine democratic values here in the U.S. than any other force in the world today. Speaking as one of "our country" I'd like to take this opportunity to issue the same reminder to President Bush. He can only be grateful that the majority of citizens in "our country" are paying little or no attention to his outrageous and inflammatory remarks.