Thursday, September 21, 2006

Freedom's Just Another Word

Thailand? Huh. Where's that? Washington Post (09.21.06):
"At the United Nations lectern this week, President Bush hailed the spread of democracy. 'From Beirut to Baghdad,' he said, 'people are making the choice for freedom.' Yet even as he spoke, tanks were rolling through the streets of Bangkok as a military coup toppled the elected leader of Thailand, who at that moment was in New York for the U.N. session." Ideals and Realities Clash In Bush 'Freedom Agenda'
George "made no mention of the dramatic events on Tuesday and left New York yesterday without ever seeing the deposed prime minister". Even though they both were in New York. "The president's spokesman later provided a strikingly mild response only after being asked by a reporter, pronouncing the White House 'disappointed' by the coup." "'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." We've met Nursultan before. He's kind of, uhhh, moody. Maybe a little unpredictable too.


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