Thursday, May 05, 2005

Sen. Joseph Biden on Bush Foreign Policy

"Credit Bush's rhetoric not his actions" by Sen. Joseph Biden: "In speaking about the Middle East, President Bush recently said 'a critical mass of events is taking that region in a hopeful new direction.' For the Middle East, historically bereft of democracy and clotted with autocrats and despots, the promise of a better life is raising expectations across the region.

Some Democrats, after nearly a century of efforts to inject the ennobling quality of universal freedom and human rights into the heart of our foreign policy agenda, seem uneasy about this president's recent focus on the idea. President Bush spoke with great eloquence in his second inaugural address about expanding freedom, and I was a little frustrated by the reception it received from some of my Democratic colleagues and friends around the world. The headline from the leading Green newspaper in Germany was 'Bush Threatens More Freedom.' Democrats at home were more circumspect, but for many, it seems that distaste for the messenger obscured the truth of the message...

History is on democracy's side. In 1775, there was not a single democracy in the world. After our revolution there was one. Now, there are 119 electoral democracies; 62 percent of the world's governments. And, as the number of democracies increases still further, pressure will mount on the tyrannical outliers. We may be witnessing this very phenomenon as we speak today. Whatever obstacles lie ahead—and they are considerable—surely this historic shift should be enough to lift the hopes of Americans across the political spectrum, regardless of which party holds the White House. "

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