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May 16, 2005

President Bush: Enemy of Freedom

Guest: cntodd

President Bush’s so-called “war on terror” and his public declarations in support of democracy everywhere are, well, hollow, empty, and - shall we say - meaningless.

The administration has supported Uzbekistan’s President Karimov as one of the U.S.’s closest allies in the “war on terror” despite knowing for years that the government maintains its power by force, intimidation, and torture, and of course by the erosion of democracy.

From a joint press conference in December 2001 with then Secretary of State Colin Powell and President Karimov:

POWELL: It was my pleasure to bring to the President the greetings of President Bush and also to extend to him our thanks for all the support we have received from Uzbekistan in pursuing this campaign against terrorism in Afghanistan and elsewhere throughout the world as well. They have been an important member of this coalition against terrorism, and I’m sure they will continue to be so in the future.

REPORTER: This morning you quoted Thomas Jefferson saying that a government must rely on the consent of the governed. I was curious to know what your critique was of the state of democracy in Uzbekistan and how you raised these concerns with President Karimov.

POWELL: We had a good candid discussion of the democratization process, and the importance of political democracy. I mentioned to him that I had spoken to kids earlier this morning about the importance of voting. We have areas where we disagree as to how fast progress should be made or could be made and it is something that we will continue to discuss. I discussed it with the president as well as with the foreign minister. The president’s emphasis is to bring up a new generation that understands. And the pace at which democratization takes place was the item that was on his mind.

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[X-posted at Freiheit und Wissen]

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