"We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world. America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights and dignity and matchless value because they bear the image of the maker of heaven and earth.... Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our nation."Of course, Bush's conversion to the cause has a very road-to-Damascus feel to it. He campaigned in 2000 by casting scorn on nation building and humanitarian intervention, and his "human rights" justification for his Iraqi misadventure was only dragged out of the closet at the last minute when his earlier excuses (WMDs, Al Qaeda connections) turned out to have been fabricated. So, it's no surprise to learn that he didn't really mean what he said all along. As noted today in the Washington Post, Bush's new best friend is none other than President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan. This guy is not the invention of Sasha Baron Cohen's feverish mind, but he could be. Nazarbayev had banned opposition parties, and muzzled the press. Also, he has a reputation for corruption, and stands accused by U.S. prosecutors of pocketing $78 million in bribes from one businessman alone. What's reward? A warm embrace by Bush, and even a visit to his compound in Maine! Oh, there's one thing I forgot to mention: Kazakhstan has lots and lots of oil.
Oh, and let's not forget Bush's other best friend in the region, Islam Karimov, the dictator of Uzbekistan, who not only stamps out all opposition, but is is also a notorious torturer, his favorite technique being boiling people to death. I guess he agrees with Bush that the Geneva convention protections do not apply terrorists.