Thursday, February 2, 2006

President Bush Rejects Isolationism and Retreat

In a rousing State of the Union address, President George W. Bush yesterday rejected ISOLATIONISM as a course for America in the world, telling the U.S. Congress, "The road of isolationism and protectionism may seem broad and inviting, but it ends in danger and decline...We seek the end of tyranny in our world ... In reality the future of America's security depends on it...Every step toward freedom in the world makes our nation safer, so we will act boldly in freedom's cause."

Recalling that right after World War II there were "less than 2 dozen lonely democracies in the world" Bush noted that today there are about 122 democracies and that at the beginning of 2006, more than half of humanity now lives in democratic nations. Bush added, "And we we do not forget the other half, in Syria, Burma, Zimbabwe, North Korea, Iran, because the demands of justice and the peace of this world require their freedom as well."

(Let's not forget "partly free" Philippines, which was the first Democracy in Asia but has been moving backwards and forwards and sideways ever since. And what about China? That is where most of that other half lives.)

BABY BOOMER BUST: On the domestic front, GWB stood tall amidst a bipartisan standing ovation on his call for a solution to be found and implemented ahead of the big Baby Boomer Retirement Bust of Social Security, which Bush said would present the US Congress with impossible choices. As a Baby Boomer me-self, I'm glad W. is thinking of my security in old-age. (Though my advice to all American Baby Boomers planning their golden years is : Invest and Retire in the Philippine Archipelago--it's like 7,100 Singapores with a hundred Hawaiis in it and where all those great, beautiful, successful Filipino-Americans came from anyway.)

The White House has a webcast (Windows or Real Media) of the 5th State of the Union Address by US President George W. Bush. I really wish President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo would listen to this speech. One of its most memorable lines is unintentionally but painfully accusatory of Mrs. Arroyo's behavior:


RETREAT is exactly what the Philippine President did in Iraq in the self-preserving case of Angelo de la Cruz, and SURRENDER is what Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is doing now in the case of jueteng and Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz's crusade against gambling. It isn't after all the illegality of jueteng, but the debilitating effects of an economy and morality dominated by the false hope of jueteng, that Cruz crusades against.

President Bush had inspiring words for all human beings, including Filipinos--


Do we? Will we?

America's Interests and the Fate of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
America Should Withdraw Support for GMA's Mob Rule.


Michael Martin said...

Bush incorporates the rhetoric of democracy and freedom for political purposes and posturing. We cannot stay the course in Iraq with the Bush administration's nonvision for postwar Iraq; a "retreat" is a false choice and only reiterates that this president is fixated on setting his own deadlines and living in his sequestered, disconnected world. No clever speechwriting can do a thing to salvages this failing presidency.

Rizalist said...

Welcome Michael,
I can see that '06 and '08 are gonna be great. Elections I mean. I've been studying the 1912 U.S. elections...have a look at that, it's what could happen to the Republicans and Democrats in 2008. ...they were arguing roughly the same things nearly a hundred years ago.

Amadeo said...

I completely agree with the first comment and for the same reasons I normally do not listen to SOTU addresses.

It is all posturing or defining rhetoric, i.e., trying to define what the administration stands for. And as such, it will be glowing and inspiring polemics.

But this is a very messy and very entangled world we live in. One could write a book and still miss a lot of issues that shout loudly for attention and resolution.

This much I know and believe in. Whether we are for or against his beliefs and ideas for governing the country, he truly acts based on his convictions and not purely for political exigencies. Thus, in the process many mistakes will be made and many lessons to be learned.

Marcus Aurelius said...

Retreat is one of the choices being offered by the hard left. A hasty one at that.

Most people realize to leave a state vulnerable to the AQ types is asking for another 9/11. There is a vision for Postwar Iraq, a functioning government that can exist on its own and to perform the basic functions governments are expected to perform for its citizenry.

To say there is no vision is evidence of being close minded.



Freedom is relative.

To a woman in Kabul, it is being able to go to a hairdresser's or for her daughter to go to a school out of harm's way.

To a young Palestinian child, it is the ability to be able to play outside without a bomb exploding around him. Likewise for a child in Tel Aviv.

To many families in Iraq, freedom is all about not being hungry.

Freedom for a child in Peru is to be able to tend to his alpaca herd in peace. To me, freedom is not mere rhetoric or all about invading a foreign country based on lies nor is it the ability to continually weave a lie.

Fighting to keep our freedom should also be all about the respect for a foreigner's idea of his own brand of freedom as he sees it should be in his own homeland - the ability to vote the kind of government based on his own cultural or political beliefs.

Mandela, Begin, Gandhi and many others the fathers of fights for freedom was to free their people of foreign yoke.

Freedom is to be able to say that wrong is wrong no matter who says or does it or no matter how loud that demagogue screams it!

Rizalist said...

HB: Bush also told the UN General Assembly on Sept. 12, 2002:

"Freedom is God's gift to every human being, not America's!"

But America faces a dilemma today, much like it did in the Civil War, except it is on a global scale. The moral problems and practical responses are the same.

I still side with the Union. You?


By "Union", did you mean the US of A or the State of the Union Address?

Bush's address is good for America and the Americans and when he said ""WE LOVE OUR FREEDOM AND WE WILL FIGHT TO KEEP IT!", he confirmed that America's freedom is paramount but to my best recollection, not one soul in this world ever contested that America loves its freedom and will fight to keep it. So, what's with the rhetoric?

I doubt that Bush ever considered the freedom of another nation to exercise its own brand of freedom when it's different from America's brand of freedom.

As I've said, freedom is relative. I don't feel free when Bush visits Brussels. His very presence curtails our freedom to circulate in our own city.

Sorry, DJB, I don't like Bush and never will just as I don't like Tony Blair but once did!

Rizalist said...

No need for apologies HB. This blog is nonjudgmental of its commenters. I didn't like Bush much at all when he first ran, but i think he is a case of History making the man instead of the other way around. As for Tony Blair, I always liked him, still do, even wrote a piece fot he Inquirer once nominating him for Prime Minister of the World. But to the main point: none of these men are actually indispensable. It is the ideals and the causes that they fight for that I really support. Frankly I've no emotional stake in either man's fate...I just appreciate what they've done so far given the circumstances they found themselves in.

As for freedom, I guess it's not a zero sum game, nor a competition among brands. Democracy and freedom are really more like laws of nature that humanity has discovered can make societies prosperous, just and peaceful.

I think lots of people resent America because they are envious of how well it works, and how haughty the Americans can seem to be. LIke GWB.

Yet she is the best example we have so far of a country that started out with slavery and racism, but has progressed much farther in a short time than other countries towards a multicultural society of immense potential.

That's the best thing about America to me: she has the greatest potential and capability and record to do good.



I assure you that we in Europe have nothing to be envious of America, particularly when it comes to freedom.

Maybe, it's time you came over here and see the other side of the globe.

We are so free here that we can't seem to do anything against the freedom of people to continuously import horrid American TV movies. And as you've complained about so many times, we even grant Communist JoMa to live the life of a petit bourgeois. So free are we that our prime ministers, presidents and even the Her Majesty, Elizabeth Regina could go around without wearing a bulletproof vest.

Thank God, our culture is so old and firmly embedded in our way of life, it would take more than a horrid Texan to change our moral values.

And nobody here envies George Bush; he's curtailed his own freedom that he cannot even trust his own people, "freedom loving" Americans with his life.

As I said, freedom is relative but I don't think Bush knows what it really is.

Rizalist said...

I have to admit one thing: I don't believe that I understand Europe. I think it is probably because, except for Britons, I've never really had a personal friend who is "European." What I read of Europe often puzzles me, as it is usually the Anglospheric side castigating the Franco=German side or vice versa. How could all these folks be so different from one another? I do read some conservative European voices, though. For example from your neck of the woods is the Brussels Journal. My overall impression of many European countries is that they are run by people like our Left, except they've had state power for half a century. I'd like to know if there is any accuracy to this impression.

Rizalist said...

Hi Marcus Aurelius--Nice to see you slumming in the Archipelago, dude. It's hot here! You frozen yet? (hehe)


Wrong impression DJB!

There are more conservatives in various governments in Europe today than there ever was.

Even Tony Blair is more conservative, and more Tory like than many members of the UK's conservative party.

Just that they are less arrogant or boastful than their American counterpart.