With just hours to go before he is sworn into office for his second term as US president, the party is in full swing for George W. Bush and his supporters. A concert in the shadow of the White House was just one event among a series of lavish festivities. Bush used the opportunity to outline his vision of Washington’s role in the defence of liberty.
“We have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom and America will always be faithful to that cause,” he said. Eager to face up to his critics over US policy in Iraq, the president is set to return to the theme of freedom for his inaugural address. Not all Americans share his vision of what freedom means however and the anti-war theme will be central to a number of “counter-inaugural” protests planned for later today.