Monday, November 21, 2005

Jimmy Carter on the Bush Administration

This is not the country that I once knew

And he's right. While America has never entirely lived up to its ideals, it has generally pursued a progressive path which has strengthened freedom and human rights, and so deserves to be celebrated as a "beacon of freedom". But when the leader of that "beacon of freedom" establishes gulags, his Vice President tries to overturn a ban on torture, and jokes about the old Soviet Union suddenly seem strangely appropriate, you have to worry. America is as far from its founding values as it has ever been - and moving in entirely the wrong direction.

Hopefully this will change when Bush leaves office. OTOH, the American people endorsed Bush's policies at the last election in full knowledge of what they meant. They voted for Guantanamo, they voted for rendition, and they voted for Abu Ghraib. The sickness is deep, and it will take many years to work itself out.


There is much evidence that the last two u.s. elections were fraudulent. The republican party did not win either the 2000 or the 2004 election. George bush is not our duly elected president. We have a huge problem here in the U.S. When the election process becomes corrupted, there is no longer a democracy. We the people must somehow take our country back from these crooks and liars. But it's not going to happen soon enough.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/21/2005 10:50:00 AM

I disagree that the American people had 'full knowledge' of what Bush's policies meant, and voted accordingly. For one thing, most people do not vote logically (poor people would be voting Democrat rather than Republican if that was the case!); for another, it's almost impossible to get decent news coverage over there, and there are so many voices competing for your ear that's it's just too scary and confusing for most people to analyse; for a third, most of the country is so insular (look at the tiny percentage with passports!) that they don't have any idea what they're voting for when they tacitly endorse certain foreign policies.

Posted by Danielle : 11/21/2005 11:18:00 AM

I agree somewhat with danielle. Many of my fellow citizens live in a bubble, they are unaware of any foreign opinions or governments except what our government controled news media reports day in and day out.
But also we have a bunch of crazy people here. Still, 35% of the citizens support bush policies. They fully support this agressive act of war and torture. As best I can understand, they feel the U.S. is the greatest country in the world and because of that greatness has a right to dominate, to the point of agressively killing all those who do not follow U.S. policies. This is sad and true. There are many american who are all for this war and the torture.
This is not a proud time to be an american.

Posted by kjohn1 : 11/21/2005 12:01:00 PM

Indeed, but let us not forget that Bush won 51% to 49%.He is loathed here like he is loathed elsewhere.

Much of the burden of guilt connected to the failures associated with the misconducts in Iraq, the lies leading in to the invasion etc, should be laid at the feet of Congress, which since 9/11 has failed its constitutional duty to be a watchdog and check upon Presidential power. No doubt much will be written on this in the years ahead, but the model of American govt is centred around restaining and diffusing power, not centralising it. Here we have so much of the problem.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/22/2005 02:57:00 PM

I think the picture is a bit more complicated than that - something which the other comments have alluded to. I lived in the US during the period of the 2004 election - Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and rendition were basically non-issues. I think Guantanamo might have been mentioned once during one of the debates.

We are also assuming that what essentially matters of foreign policy were a substantial determinant in voter behaviour.

Posted by John : 11/23/2005 12:38:00 PM