President Bush is in Hungary to join the celebrations of the failed 1956 Hungarian Uprising, and this is one Yale graduate on whom the lessons of history are not lost. Bush told the world:
“Hungary represents the triumph of liberty over tyranny.”
He made this remarkable statement, standing on the very hill from which Soviet troops open fire on Budapest and crushed the rebellion. President Bush also said:
“Hungary is now a valued member of NATO and the European Union. You know that the democratic journey is not easy but you continue to make the tough decisions that are necessary to succeed,” and comparing the case of Iraq with that of Hungary, the President declared:
“Defeating these enemies will require sacrifice and continued patience, the kind of patience the good people of Hungary displayed after 1956.”
Now, even George Bush’s speechwriters know that the Hungarians did not actually succeed in 1956, nor did they actually overthrow their own Communist dictatorship nor expel the Soviets. The Soviet Union was the “Evil Empire” that claimed to have liberated Eastern Europe and establish true democracy. Eventually that Evil Empire died of its own excesses, and the Russians had to abandon their subject nations.
What the President is obviously telling the world is that Iraq, too, has been occupied by an empire that promised democracy but delivered only tyranny and violence, and the only hope he holds out for Iraq is the eventual dissolution of the American Empire.
I conclude from this speech that David Frum has been replaced by Stephen Colbert