I was a bit taken back by one of his answers, mainly because its ramifications are so apparent and obvious that I am worried. Here is what Bush said:
Q: When you say it may take a while, how long do you think it's going to take in Afghanistan? How long in Iraq?
Bush: "That's hard for me to predict. I do know that the speech I gave in South Korea recently, in front of a stadium full of religious people, an American president would not have given such a speech in 1954."
"I also believe that if people are given a chance to be free, they will see, they will take the risk necessary. I believe in the universality of freedom. This is a controversial doctrine, believe it or not. The controversy is best manifested when people say, "Bush is imposing his values." Well, if they're universal values, they are not my values."
"Now what made this even more controversial in some places around the world is I believe they are a gift of the Almighty. Just recognition of the Almighty Himself is controversial, believe it or not. I am optimistic that these freedom movements will flourish if the United States does not abandon them."So there really is a Bush doctrine - or at least one he subscribes to. So why me worry? Look what he said, and carry it through...
"[w]hen people say, "Bush is imposing his values." Well, if they're universal values, they are not my values."In other words, I am imposing something not of my doing or development. It is something bigger than me and, well, I have no real choice but to impose them, besides, I agree with them!
And who imposes these universal values?
"I believe they are a gift of the Almighty."I am not taking this out of context. He even alludes to the difficulty in imposing these universal values, because they - as he believes- come from God.
"Just recognition of the Almighty Himself is controversial, believe it or not."Now it is difficult to argue that freedom is not a universal value, nor can one make a good argument against life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as not being a divine right (if you believe in God) or a basic human right (if you don't believe in God).
What can be argued is exactly what 'freedom' is and just what that risk imposed to obtain it should be. Today as I write this - as there have been for over 40 years - there are soldiers sitting in underground bunkers with the duty and obligation to press a button that could destroy all of humanity, or at the very least, make the world uninhabitable.
The assumption that "they will take the risk necessary" is forced on me by those who have decided that to live without some 'freedom' they value is a fate worse than death. You know, a 'better dead than red' way of thinking. My point here is that no one asked me if I wanted to take this risk. It was not my choice to live with or without these universal values when the decision for mutual total annihilation was made.
Now I understand fully that the guys at these buttons are there really to stop the other guy from using them. That is, we need these bombs so that these bombs will not be used. Strange logic, but man is a strange thinker, especially when fear, protection, and God come into play.
So lets look at the price of freedom through the use of war. When Bush said:
"I do know that the speech I gave in South Korea recently, in front of a stadium full of religious people, an American president would not have given such a speech in 1954."...he was saying that the ability to talk about God was worth the cost of the Korean war.
In other words, the cost of 373,599 South Korean civilians killed and 26,516 American soldiers killed, let alone all the hundreds of thousands from North Korea and other participants, was worth it so that Bush could give a speech to a bunch of religious people in South Korea.
Now it's not the fact that is was God that makes it troubling, it could also be Winston's desire to say "1 + 1 = 2" The issue is how one defines 'freedom'. Would I want to be killed so that these two events could take place? Maybe. But did anyone ask the 373,599 South Korean civilians killed in the Korean war if they thought a 'freedom' like this was worth their life?
And that is what I find troubling about those who believe that there are universal values. Values are beliefs. Beliefs are based on a lot of different things And when you throw God in there, well there is no telling where you will end up and what you would be willing to do or who you would be willing to sacrifice for it.
So when you talk about freedom, I understand what you mean, but let me decide if I want to take the risk so that you can have this freedom you think is so precious that it is worth killing for. Freedom is not free but its cost should not be imposed on those who neither have a dog nor hunt.
So yeah, I worry about these" freedom movements" that are unleashed and supported by us. If there is a universal truth or value it is to do unto others as they would want done unto them. One man's dictator is sometimes another man's leader. Just ask 9 out of 10 Ukrainians.