It's very rare indeed for me to agree with anything George W. Bush says, but his recent comments at the UN General Assembly concerning the lack of human rights in Cuba deserve attention. It is well documented that there is a concentration camp on the island where hundreds of prisoners, many of them kidnapped from other countries, have been kept under armed guard in appalling conditions, often including long periods of solitary confinement, for years. They are denied internationally recognised human rights, interrogated under torture, refused legal representation, and not allowed visits from their families or friends. Some have even been driven to suicide.
All this, of course is in the US-controlled corner of the island, at Guantanamo Bay. I am sure the rest of the Cuban population are yearning to experience such "freedom" for themselves.
Meanwhile, while Bush calls for democracy around the world at the UN, he says nothing when his own military chief bluntly declares in his presence that the American people cannot vote to end the war in Iraq. Nor does he correct General Pace's blatant lie that Iraq declared war on the USA. With a democracy like this, who needs dictatorship?
I often wonder if Bush actually believes his own bullshit, or if he is conscious of his hypocrisy. At the least, he must be experiencing some degree of cognitive dissonance, which could explain the perpetual slightly puzzled look on his face, as if he can't quite understand why reality won't conform to his own perceptions of the world.
Those perceptions, of course, like those of General Pace and most of the rest of the subhuman crew in Washington, are shaped by their oft-proclaimed religious principles. Perhaps they should actually read the book they claim to live by; for Bush, I recommend Matthew 7:5 as a good starting point.