Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bush in Hungary - addendum

I try to be fair and balanced in my commentary, so I feel obliged to commend Bush (well, really, his speechwriters) for something he said during his visit to Hungary. From AP's coverage:

"In 1989 a new generation of Hungarians returned to the streets to demand their liberty and boldly helped others secure their freedom as well," the president said. "By giving shelter to those fleeing tyranny and opening your border to the West, you helped bring down the Iron Curtain and gave the hope of freedom to millions in Central and Eastern Europe."

I appreciate the credit Bush gives Hungary for the extremely important part it played in the collapse of the Iron Curtain 1989 by opening its borders. For many years, the US perspective has been almost blindly focused on the actions of Ronald Reagan, ignoring the important parts played by various Eastern bloc countries. Especially for someone like Bush, whose Americacentric perspective often precludes recognition of the role of other countries, this statement, even if orchestrated by speechwriters, carries with it positive weight.

Of course, he still should have apologized about 1956...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Bush says anything pleasant, it's to try to get on someone's good side, the better to stab said good side. This detail will not alter Official History any.
But it interesting that again, he failed. He obviously is trying to work in a fake subtext about the evil hook-nosed perfidious Arab, whose self-imposed ghetto must be broken open, preferably by expensively contracted brute force and lots of bombs. But Hungary wasn't bombed open by "liberators" who would allow Budapest and millenia of archeological treasure to be destroyed or looted, or given a new society they had to catch up to -- that would be closer the oppression part. Why does Bush support the dead-ender fidayiyn?

*OT: (how did you not post on this first?)
Why do drunks escape the injuries they so richly deserve?

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another strange thing about Bush celebrating the "defeat" of Stalinism (really, it wasn't defeated; it was allowed to run out of steam. Hitler was defeated. Stalin died of natural causes and his legacy succumbed to intellectual stuffocation and massive corrupting campaigns). If there is anything singularly loathesome about that legacy it is the gulag, and Bush has reopened those same buildings and torture chambers for the same old business.

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apologized? What, precisely, would you propose that the United States might have done? The same goes for Poznan in the same year, Prague in 1968, Gdansk in 1971, et cetera ad nauseam. Granted Hungary involved a more direct intervention and substantially more bloodshed. But there was an unwritten law during the Cold War. Neither side interfered directly in the affairs of the core satellites of the other. Proxy wars were fought in, at best, secondary satellites (Vietnam, Korea). Core satellites received, at most, non-nuclear military supplies (Central America, Afghanistan), and usually, non-military material support (financial support and photocopiers to Eastern European countries...incidentally the photocopiers actually did much good -- they allowed the dissemination of information without the risks inherent in setting up printing presses, which were more susceptible to discovery because they were less mobile).

And in pre-emptive defense, this comment is written by a Pole. There is no lack of sensitivity here.

2:00 AM  
Blogger Nixie said...

In response to the last comment:

First of all, I completely agree that the US couldn't have done anything.

I think you're missing my point though.

What I wanted the US to apologize for was PROMISING to send military aid, getting the people's hopes up leading them to be more open in their rebellion, then never showing up, which consequently resulted in the imprisonment and execution of many Hungarians that otherwise may not have been so active in the revolution.

The US should never have promised on a daily basis through Voice of America what it couldn't deliver.

10:08 AM  

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