Inconvenient News,
       by smintheus

Friday, February 22, 2008

  White House tangles with p. A17 of WaPo

On Fridays I go looking for document dumps at the WH website. Today I found something altogether more unexpected and really rather strange. The WH News page, normally pretty crowded, has only a single item for February 22: Setting the Record Straight: President Bush Committed to Strengthening Democracy Throughout Africa. It's a lengthy, detailed "rebuttal" of an article that appeared on page A17 of the WaPo: U.S. Policy in Africa Faulted on Priorities.

In his tour of Africa, President Bush steered clear of countries where stability, human rights and progress toward democracy have degenerated during his tenure, among them Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Uganda and Kenya.

In those countries, Bush's focus on counterterrorism has overtaken his other stated foreign policy goals of promoting democracy and human rights, according to analysts...

Rep. Donald M. Payne (D-N.J.), who chairs the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa, said that by ignoring electoral problems and human rights violations, the United States often winds up dealing with the consequences of political chaos.

"Turning a blind eye to government abuses and wanton disregard for human dignity often leads to political instability and massive humanitarian disasters," Payne said. "And we always end up paying for it."


Pretty mild critique of Bush administration foreign policy, I would have thought, and almost beyond dispute. But dispute it the White House did with a passion that has to be seen to be believed. Go read the whole thing and contemplate how the Bush administration, in its single-minded determination to brook no criticism, has been reduced to crossing swords with p. A17 of the Washington Post.

crossposted from unbossed.com

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