The more things change…
In spite of the proliferation of democracies over the past century, many people across the globe are held captive by their governments. More than a decade after the Berlin Wall fell, more than 2 billion people still live under authoritarian regimes. America must remain vigilant in our support of those living under authoritarianism. There remain people in Asia, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia who do not enjoy the right to choose their own governments and to hold those governments accountable.
Americans and the 3 billion others across the globe living in democracies desire the same freedoms for the remaining 42 percent of the world's population who live without them. But as long as governments like those in Afghanistan, Burma, Cuba, Iraq, and Sudan exist, freedom is not accessible to all… -George W. Bush, July 13, 2001
The US is determined to establish a unified Iraq under a pluralist democracy in which the human rights of all ethnic groups will be respected. We are not about to overthrow one dictator just to replace him with another. – Dick Cheney, August 26, 2002
(C)ertainly the mission, the direction of a post-Iraq government should be in the direction of most liberty and freedom for its people, which democracy represents. – Ari Fleischer, October 2, 2002
Iraq is a land rich in culture, resources, and talent. Freed from the weight of oppression, Iraq's people will be able to share in the progress and prosperity of our time. If military action is necessary, the United States and our allies will help the Iraqi people rebuild their economy, and create the institutions of liberty in a unified Iraq at peace with its neighbors. – George W. Bush, October 7, 2002
The more they stay the same…
The US is abandoning plans to introduce democracy in Iraq after a war to overthrow Saddam Hussein, according to Kurdish leaders who recently met American officials.
The Kurds say the decision resulted from pressure from US allies in the Middle East who fear a war will lead to radical political change in the region. - The Independent, February 17, 2003
Also, Jeanne has a must-read essay on the Iraq issue today.