Hmm. I just realized that the Cheney comments about Iran’s nuclear threat that I discussed in mylast post came ahead of an inaugural speech in which Bush said:
Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world:
All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.
Democratic reformers facing repression, prison, or exile can know: America sees you for who you are: the future leaders of your free country.
The rulers of outlaw regimes can know that we still believe as Abraham Lincoln did: “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it.”
The leaders of governments with long habits of control need to know: To serve your people you must learn to trust them. Start on this journey of progress and justice, and America will walk at your side.
Yes, Bush is doing what Lincoln did in the Emancipation Proclamation, converting a war about politics to a war about morality. But more directly, he is exhorting the people of Iran to overthrow their government! The combination of Cheney talking about the necessity for military action to take out Iran’s nuclear capabilities and Bush’s claiming that we will also support Iranian reformers is exciting and should be making Iran’s leadership very very nervous.
Note: Yes, the speech is also addressed to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, etc. But Iran is obviously top of mind given Cheney’s comments.