George W. Bush and democracy
In January 2005 George W. Bush gave over a large part of his Second Inaugural Address as President of the
United States of America to a call for the promotion of freedom, liberty, and democracy in the world.
In this same month,
and in association with this Address, he recommended "The Case for Democracy," a work by
the former Russian dissident and now prominent Israeli politician Natan Sharansky, as a must-read for those who
want to grasp his own world view.
President Bush, in his Second Inaugural Address, holds that
"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."
In his book Mr Sharansky likens the current fight against terrorism to the struggles with Nazism and Communism,
and describes a contemporary world "divided between those who are prepared to confront evil and those who
are willing to appease it."
Sharansky also writes that "I am convinced that all peoples desire to be free. I am convinced that freedom anywhere
will make the world safer everywhere. And I am convinced that democratic nations, led by the United States,
have a critical role to play in expanding freedom around the globe."
Mr. Sharansky's views have enjoyed an acceptance amongst the President and his close advisors for quite some time.
In July 2002, a month before Mr Bush delivered a key speech on bringing democracy to the Middle East, a number
of heavyweights - including Vice-President Dick Cheney and Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz - attended
a conference addressed by Mr Sharansky. Although it would appear that the President's
speech had already been written Mr Sharansky's contribution was thought to be consistent with the first
George W. Bush Administration's own desires to attempt to establish liberty, freedom and democracy in the middle-east.
On one notable occasion (November 11, 2004) Sharansky, who was in the United Stateds as part
of a promotional campaign for his book, was contacted by the the President's staff and subsequently
entertained by President Bush
in an hour long
private meeting that took place in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington D.C.