George Bush Stood With Democracy Activists– Obama Stands With Dictators
“All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.”
President George W. Bush
Second Inaugural Speech
January 20, 2005
Clockwise from top left: Bush promoting religious freedom in China, Bush is posted on placards in Azerbaijan, Bush is mobbed in Albania, Iraqi women carry Bush photos with them to the polling station on election day.
President Bush’s made this pledge to political dissidents and freedom activists in 2005, “We will stand with you.” And, the oppressed took him at his word. There was an Orange Revolution in Ukraine, a Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, and a Cedar Revolution in Lebanon that spring. There were democratic elections in Afghanistan where women were not only allowed to vote but took seats in parliament. There were democratic elections for the first time in the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia released political dissidents. There were Arab democracy conferences in Qatar and women were allowed to vote in Kuwait. Egyptian judges stood up against a regime. Another regime in Libya opened up to the West. And who could forget the Iraqis who walked for miles, braving terrorist death threats, to vote in free democratic elections for the very first time.
“In this room are dissidents and democratic activists from 17 countries on five continents. You follow different traditions, you practice different faiths, and you face different challenges. But you are united by an unwavering conviction: that freedom is the non-negotiable right of every man, woman, and child, and that the path to lasting peace in our world is liberty…
The most powerful weapon in the struggle against extremism is not bullets or bombs — it is the universal appeal of freedom. Freedom is the design of our Maker, and the longing of every soul. Freedom is the best way to unleash the creativity and economic potential of a nation. Freedom is the only ordering of a society that leads to justice. And human freedom is the only way to achieve human rights…
In my second inaugural address, I pledged America to the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world. Some have said that qualifies me as a “dissident president.”
If standing for liberty in the world makes me a dissident, I wear that title with pride.”
President Bush later met with democracy activists from Burma on the twenty year anniversary of the bloody 8888 Protests in Burma. And before he left office in December 2008 President Bush met with dissident bloggers on Human Rights Day.
But those days are over. There’s a new administration in town with a new set of rules and a new set of priorities. Persecuted political dissidents and brave democracy activists do not rank high on the list.
Already this year the Obama Administration has waived sanctions on Syria, considered opening travel to Cuba, announced plans to drop sanctions against the murderous junta in Burma, reportedly approved Sharia Law in the tribal regions of Pakistan in exchange for a bogus peace treaty, praised the Venezuelan “democracy,” discussed holding talks with the Iranian regime, and accepted China’s human rights abuses. That’s quite a record and it hasn’t even been 200 days since they took office.
In February seven former Iranian student prisoners wrote a letter to President Obama and urged him to support the democratic movement of the Iranian people. Their letter went unanswered. It should come as no surprise then that as chaos broke out this weekend in Iran over a very controversial election result the Obama Administration fell silent.
Last year George Bush told the Iranian people:
My message to the young in Iran is that someday your society will be free. And it will be a blessed time for you. My message to the women of Iran is that the women of America share your deep desire for children to grow up in a hopeful society and to live in peace.
This weekend as rioting broke out across Iran the Obama administration released this statement:
“This is a debate among Iranians about Iran’s future.”
Less than 24 hours after the flawed results were announced by the official media the Obama Administration announced that they would engage with the regime.
No one knows how this situation will develop in Iran. No one knows how much more blood will flow in the streets. No one knows if there will be more rooftop shootings. No one knows if there will more deaths reported and arrests made. But one thing is certain. The Iranian people do not have the same support from Washington today. The dissident president has left the White House.