|Ken Novak's Weblog
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Saturday, November 08, 2003
Full text: Bush speech on Iraq and the Middle East: For once, he's got a decent speechwriter. Noting the growth since 1970 from 40 to 120 democratic societies (including half the population of Islam), the party of Nixon and Kissinger adopts the perspective of Carter and Mandela:
- "The regime in Teheran must heed the democratic demands of the Iranian people, or lose its last claim to legitimacy." Like Blair's speech to Congress, [video] it ties sovereignity and legitimacy to universal notions of human rights, in principle anywhere (a regime must heed its people or lose its legitimacy).
- "Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe -- because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty". The most quoted line, dated from Roosevelt's deal with the House of Saud. The next 2 sentences go further: "As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment, and violence ready for export. And with the spread of weapons that can bring catastrophic harm to our country and to our friends, it would be reckless to accept the status quo." As in Bucky Fuller's Utopia or Oblivion, and in the Cold War, for us to make it, we all have to make it.
- "Time after time, observers have questioned whether this country, or that people, or this group, are "ready" for democracy -- as if freedom were a prize you win for meeting our own Western standards of progress. In fact, the daily work of democracy itself is the path of progress. It teaches cooperation, the free exchange of ideas, and the peaceful resolution of differences. As men and women are showing, from Bangladesh to Botswana, to Mongolia, it is the practice of democracy that makes a nation ready for democracy, and every nation can start on this path." So don't test for democracy, or for a standard of openness, but for the process of opening, at any level of development.
- "As we watch and encourage reforms in the region, we are mindful that modernization is not the same as Westernization. Representative governments in the Middle East will reflect their own cultures. They will not, and should not, look like us. .. And working democracies always need time to develop -- as did our own. We've taken a 200-year journey toward inclusion and justice -- and this makes us patient and understanding as other nations are at different stages of this journey."
Naturally this administration is a poor representative of this doctrine, with reliance on dictators like Musharraf, tolerance of backsliding in Russia, deafness to Palestine, etc. But these radical liberal themes are now considered fundamental to conservatives. 4:34:00 PM
Renewable energy to light up 160 Mindanao villages: "Amore, a joint program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAid), Winrock International, Mirant Philippines in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm), will ultimately electrify at least 160 barangays in several parts of Mindanao. .. Forms of renewable energy could include solar, wind, micro-hydro or biomass power. " 2:21:57 AM