January 24, 2005
It's Really More About the Vibe...
President Bush's inaugural vow to spread freedom and stand with the oppressed against tyranny was not meant to signal a shift in U.S. foreign policy but to elaborate on a long-term goal, a senior U.S. official said on Saturday.
Bush's second inaugural address on Thursday raised questions about what measures he might use to bring about his vision of freedom.
Some experts wondered if it would cause strains with nondemocratic allies like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan or alter the U.S. relationship with Russia amid Washington's concerns the country is backtracking on democratic reforms.
"The speech builds upon our policy," said a senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It states very clearly the long-term goal we should always be working to achieve."
The official said there was a recognition that not all countries would be ready to embrace freedom and that furthering the goal would sometimes involve quiet diplomacy.