Compare and Contrast

President Bush, November 19, 2003, London:

I’ve noticed that the tradition of free speech — exercised with enthusiasm — (laughter) — is alive and well here in London. We have that at home, too. They now have that right in Baghdad, as well.

The New York Times, March 29, 2004, Baghdad:

American soldiers shut down a popular Baghdad newspaper on Sunday and tightened chains across the doors after the occupation authorities accused it of printing lies that incited violence.

Thousands of outraged Iraqis protested the closing as an act of American hypocrisy, laying bare the hostility many feel toward the United States a year after the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

…[T]he letter outlining the reasons for taking action against Al Hawza did not cite any material that directly advocated violence. Several Iraqi journalists said that meant there was no basis to shut Al Hawza down. “That paper might have been anti-American, but it should be free to express its opinion,” said Kamal Abdul Karim, night editor of the daily Azzaman.

Omar Jassem, a freelance reporter, said he thought that democracy meant many viewpoints and many newspapers. “I guess this is the Bush edition of democracy,” he said.

The US continues to competently win over hearts and minds in Iraq…