Bush's Bow to Dictator
In foreign policy, its hard to claim the moral high road when you're stumbling down the low road arm-in-arm with repressive dictators.
Yet, there's our boy George W, insisting to the United Nations in a recent speech that his Iraqi adventure is all about his deep commitment to spreading democracy throughout the world... while he hugs up to Pervez Musharraf, the anti-democratic general who seized power in Pakistan five years ago in a military coup. Bush calls Musharraf a trusted buddy in his global war on terrorism - apparently oblivious to the fact that the general himself is considered a terror by Pakistan's democracy advocates.
The very next day after his pious democracy speech to the UN, George met with Musharraf for an hour in the White House, yet our prez ducked mentioning an unpleasant matter of major of political importance in Pakistan. Not only has Musharraf declared himself president, but he also continues as chief of the army, thus reinforcing his autocratic, military grip on the country. Earlier this year, Musharraf pledged to give up his military position, but he recently reneged, infuriating those fighting for some semblance of democracy in Pakistan.
Imagine their anger that Bush - a guy claiming to be a tiger fighting for democracy - meets for an hour with this dictator without even a meow of protest about Musharraf's continuing military rule. To explain Bush's wussiness, an aide was reduced to semantical contortions, asserting that George had told the general that it's "important to stay on the road" of democratic reform, claiming that the general knew what George meant.
Oh, yeah, subtlety always works with military dictators! As a result, Musharraf returned to Pakistan confident that the Bushites had given him a big ol' wink and would not raise a finger to oppose his ongoing dictatorship. And George wonders why he has no credibility with democracy advocates around the world.