ON THE INAUGURAL ADRESS
"Our country has accepted obligations that are difficult to fulfil, and would be dishonourable to abandon.
Yet because we have acted in the great liberating tradition of this nation, tens of millions have achieved
And as hope kindles hope, millions more will find it.
By our efforts, we have lit a fire as well - a fire in the minds of men.
It warms those who feel its power, it burns those who fight its progress,
and one day this untamed fire of freedom will reach the darkest corners of our world."
Quoted above are one of several inspiring passages in George W Bush's inaugural adress. In his
speech President Bush made a strong statement for the importance of liberty, not just in the
United States, but globally. It was an inspiring speech, and even though holding speeches leads
to no oppressors being toppled, it's both refreshing and important that the President of the only
super power in the world makes the spreading of liberties his main ambition.
In an article in
the Spectator (registration required) Patrick Buchanan argues that it is exactly this ambition that will
result in the ultimate fall of the American empire, and civilization. The argument goes that the policies
will overstrech and break American power, and cause unstoppable unpopularity in the world at large.
In what may seem as an outburst of na´ve optimism I claim the opposite. After the Reagan years, and the breakdown
of Soviet communism, the United States found themselves unopposed and without a wider goal. Short term interests
took the reigns, and realpolitik once again dominated the scene (as it has done in most of western Europe for a very
long time). When President Bush was elected, he seemed like he would follow along in these tracks, but then came
September 11th. It changed the way the President viewed the world, and if things turn out well maybe that will be
considered it's greatest and most important impact by future historians.
Ever since he has acted with an ideological drive, whose absence is the major threat to any civilisation, in my
A simplified description of history? Definitly. Of course, it's vastly more multi-facetted than this, and don't
for a minute think what I'm saying is: "Hallelujah, the Saviour has arrived!". I'm not. Tough tasks lies ahead,
and their outcome is as crucial as they are uncertain. But without the ambition to succeed, and the drive to spread
the freedom to the darker places of the world, our civilization is truly lost - rendered irrelevant with it's
own content and comfortability.
Will President Bush succeed in coverting those fine words to action? I don't know. I think few people, being honest
to themselves, doubt that his ambition is genuine - the question is if his ability is great enough. He'll need all
the support he can gather. We should give it to him.
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