Sunday, December 02, 2007

Bush and the Despots He Admires

by Christopher Brauchli

A country governed by a despot is an inverted cone.
– Samuel Johnson

Mr. Bush is not disappointed in them. Quite the contrary. He’s envious. Although sharing their goals, he is far less successful than they. They have shown how democracy works in an ideal world. Mr. Bush, of course, has the misfortune to be the President of the United States that is not an ideal democracy notwithstanding his efforts to make it so.

On November 21 Mr. Bush gave ABC news an interview during the course of which Perez Musharraf’s name came up. Describing Mr. Musharraf, Mr. Bush said that he “truly is somebody who believes in democracy.” According to reports, the reporter interviewing Mr. Bush asked if there was any line Mr. Musharraf should not cross to which Mr. Bush said: “He hasn’t crossed the line. As a matter of fact, I don’t think that he will cross any lines.” Mr. Bush went on to say that it was a good sign that on the same day he was being interviewed Mr. Musharraf had released thousands of people from jail. (The reporter could have asked Mr. Bush if it was so good for Mr. Musharraf. to release people from jail why Mr. Bush didn’t follow his lead and let some folks out of Guantanamo who have no business being there. He might have gone so far as to point out to Mr. Bush that releasing people from jail who should not be in jail was not half as good for democracy as the act of putting them in jail was bad for democracy.

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