Bush and the real dissenters
Who knew that George Bush would be missed by dissidents?
I don’t mean the Tea Partiers, concerned about skyrocketing deficits and power grabs by an out-of-touch government. And I don’t mean the anti-Bush dissenters, who spent eight years drawing Hitler mustaches on pictures of administration officials and romping around trying to get charged with misdemeanors as a kind of badge of honor.
No, I mean the dissidents who put their lives on the line to protest tyranny and oppression in nations where dissent can result in prison, torture, or death. These dissenters always get abandoned when the political winds shift in the U.S., and we Americans start chasing tyrants around with olive branches and puckered lips.
Tyrants like the one responsible for this:
Do those in power really not understand that anti-American fear-mongering is what keeps those tyrants in power? Has nobody noticed, for example, that every time the U.S. congress starts making noises about dropping our embargo on Cuba, Castro responds by busing people into Havana from all over the island and going on a week-long anti-Yanqui tyrade? Which irritates enough Americans that congress has to back down?
No? Nobody up top noticed that?
Would anyone have noticed Neda’s tragic death if she had not bled to death on camera?
No, the world would not have noticed. I’d bet money on it.
A friend sent me a link to a video from another object of ever-hopeful Obama’s affections, which not surprisingly is becoming a place where dissent is extremely risky. The vid was shot not long after Venezuela’s Chavez welcomed Bolivia to the ‘dark side’ and sent a bunch of his ambulances to them.
But he had to get them from somewhere, right? Did this particular barrio of Caracas not vote for him or something?
What can we say about Venezuelan dissidents? Some supposedly liberal voices are having a real problem with it, as if in shock that anyone would dissent against a left-wing government.
Googling “Venezuelan dissent” brought up a Time Magazine article about an independent TV station that was taken over by Chavez. It’s owner, Guillermo Zuloaga, was charged with making “offensive and disrespectful” comments about the regime. Time justified Chavez’ takeover of the station, saying that it’s comments made Rush Limbaugh seem even-handed. Time only worried that Chavez’ dictatorial power grab would make him look bad, and make one of his most high profile victims, the “venal” Zuloaga, look like, well, a victim.
I went to the Time site and did a search on the word ‘dissent’. I got a grab-bag of articles, starting with one by a Time writer defending his reference to dissent against Obama as being “sedition”, and another article with the opposite tone, one praising dissent, and stating that “never before has the U.S. been so tolerant of dissent—especially in wartime.” The article was from 1967.
Coming back to the present, I ran across an article in the Wall Street Journal on modern-day dissent that caught me by surprise.
The conference has been over for a month, but I’m just now finding it and it is worth a look:
The WSJ article asks if I miss Bush. Do I miss the daily media-beatings he got from the same press that is now kissing Obama’s behind day-in and day-out?
I don’t miss that, in fact I’m rather enjoying the spectacle of hypocrisy going on in the media these days. If they were equally cynical and suspicious of their guy (admit it, Obama is their guy) I might learn to trust them again.
But as for Bush, yeah, I actually do miss him. As do a growing number of the world’s real dissidents, apparently. I thought it would take a lot more time before people began to understand and appreciate how much good a strong, self-confident U.S. could do.
But thanks to the failed foreign policy of Bush’s successor, people’s eyes are being opened faster than I ever could have imagined.