Skip to comments.Bush, Putin butt heads over democracy
Posted on 07/16/2006 7:26:41 PM PDT by Aussie Dasher
ST. PETERSBURG -- President Bush and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, yesterday agreed in principle on contentious issues such as the Middle East, Iran and North Korea, but the leaders failed to clinch a key trade deal and clashed over democracy, with Mr. Putin declaring he does not want "the same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq."
During a 30-minute press conference, notable for the chilly body language between the two presidents, the leaders acknowledged that they do not see eye to eye on a host of issues, but said they agreed that Iran should not acquire nuclear weapons and urged all sides in the escalating Middle East crisis to pull back from war.
"I can repeat, it is not in Russia's national interest to see a proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, especially in such an explosive region as the Middle East," said Mr. Putin, who remains steadfast in opposing U.N. sanctions against Iran for its unchecked nuclear ambitions.
The topic is so contentious between the two that Mr. Bush did not even bring it up, National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley said.
But seeking to highlight their common ground before the opening of the Group of Eight summit, Mr. Bush said that he and Mr. Putin "agree that we've got to work together to send a common message" to the leaders of Iran and North Korea, both of whom are seeking to develop nuclear weapons, despite international opposition.
"One thing is for certain, that if the Iranians see that the United States and Russia are working together on this issue, they'll understand the seriousness of our intent," Mr. Bush said.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Bush should have said, "Well, I'd hate to have the same kind of democracy that you have in Chechnya."
"with Mr. Putin declaring he does not want "the same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq."
Tea and sympathy, with the former KGB : )
Amamzing how low he Islamos have lowered the bar.
Please keep in mind that Putin is there because there are other powers in Russia. Same with Pakistan and Musharraf.
These guys are not elected expect by other very powerful military, intelligence, industrial and political people.
Putin is in the same stage of denial as western europe is that selling weapons and appeasing islamic fanatics will buy them a free ticket from being attacked.
When Franklin was asked what kind of goverment the Framers had given us, he replied, "A republic, if you can keep it."
As long as it's butt head and not a headbutt...
I wish when Putin made this snide remark, Bush had turned to him and said "It's not the forces of democracy that wreak havoc in Iraq, but the forces of reactionary totalitarianism of the type that Russia use to be and use to support in the form of Saddam's regime, and the forces of Islamic barbarism of the sort that Russia winks at when it invites the likes of Hamas to Russia for official visits and cultivates in Iran through its support of the Mullahs. No, democracy is not the cause of the problems in Iraq. It is the solution to them. Unfortunately Russia has not been a useful partner in that regard." Bush would TRULY have been THE man.
By the way, I noted when Putin made this assinine, smirking remark, the supposedly balanced and unbiased media pukes in attendance broke into uproarious laughter and applause. How professional. I noted by the way
I think Bush clearly is referring to constitutional governance. Democracy is just a catch-all term easier for people to grasp and comprehend then a term of art like constitutional government. It is a bit cumbersome in a soundbite to provide an in-depth political science lesson.
It is a media myth that Bush only pushes for elections minus a multi-party element or constitutional and democratic institutions. They clearly haven't been listening when Bush has spelled out beyond just the soundbite what he means by the spread of democracy because he has specified the importance of the development of both constitutional and democratic structures in the type of transformation he wants to bring about in the Middle East. It's more than just electioneering. The media lapdogs are too busy seething with rage to hear the nuance and detail in his statements on the spread of democracy abroad.
But words matter. "Constitutional government" is eight syllables to "democracy"'s four, but it doesn't mar a sound-bite to make the subsitution.
The beneficiaries need to hear and absorb the longer term, or jacobinical majoritarianism will be what they expect, and will give themselves once they are not under our direct tutelage.
If the President is ever asked again what his biggest mistake was I hope he admits that it was placing any trust, let alone a lot of trust, in Putin.
Is "butt heads" supposed to be two words, or one?
Putin doesn't want anything close to democracy. He's never really let go of his communist roots. Old school socialist to the core.
The DUmmies are practically salavating at Putin and his "toughness". Its really digusting how they venerate any oppressive tyrant as long as he goes against Bush. I never thought I would miss Boris Yeltsin, but at least he was somewhat pro-American.
Bush and Putin are Butt-Heads about democracy!
I think those who are intent on forming constitutional governance will do so regardless of the semantics of a presidential soundbite in America. The forces of free governance will be guided by America's constitutional experiment, not by mere words. The forces of totalitarianism will just continue to exercise sham republican governance regardless of what we do or say.
The length of the term isn't the issue. It's that "democracy" is such an inherently positive word with entirely positive connotations to most Americans. "Constitutional governance" on the other hand is a rather flat-sounding term that won't necessarily move people. Remember, wars aren't just fought on battlefields. They have to be fought in the minds of the people both at home and abroad. And a constitution, as great as ours is, can be written to empower any demagogue. Frankly anything can be called "constitutional governance" if it's based on a constitution. The Iranian mullahs rule by a constitution that grants them enormous political power. The term democracy on the other hand implies power flowing from the people. I understand what the president is getting at as I think do most people.
It's that "democracy" is such an inherently positive word with entirely positive connotations to most Americans.
Democracy is not an inherently positive word. Aristotle knew that democracy could destroy itself once people found they could vote themselves benefits out of the public coffer. Most of what is wrong with America today is due to a surfeit of democracy. Looking further afield, does not the Hamas election in the Palestinian territories point to another flaw in mere democracy?
Uggh, semantical arguments bore me. I'm done with this one.
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