March 18, 2005

Middle East News Part 1

What a rebuke this is to those in the west for whom President Bush's democracy policy is an anathema. What an illustration of the moral and political bankruptcy of the left, which has had its progressive disguise stripped from it as it has been revealed to be as reactionary as the isolationist right. They are all simply on the wrong side of history.

Her blog has a neat link to a news article about how Bush's actions are not in anyway directly related to Lebanon's revolution. Or rather, the news articles shows that those who believe in the lack of connectivity are utterly themselves disconnected from reality.

Because when you read her post, you will quite clearly see that the impetus for Lebanon's protests were Bush's all along.

In recent weeks, both President Bush and Secretary of State Rice have often urged Syria's speedy departure and lent support to Lebanon's democratic protesters. That's a notable departure from U.S. policy over the past generation, which, under the banner of supporting the status quo, gave a nod to Syria's chokehold on Lebanon. It was not until 2003, as Mr. Bush prepared to overturn the Middle East apple cart by overthrowing Iraq's Saddam Hussein, that America began to describe Syria's presence in Lebanon as an "occupation." More recently, in keeping with Mr. Bush's post-September 11, 2001, doctrine of promoting democracy rather than simply "stability," so long favored in the Middle East, the White House has been telling Lebanon's democrats that America will keep its faith with them.

In Beirut yesterday, it was clear that message has been heard. Unlike the Hezbollah demonstrators with their chants of "Death to America," many in the crowd were friendly to Americans. "Thank's Free World," (sic) said one poster, held high by a woman in a bright red jacket, Rawya Okal, who told me: "We thank Mr. Bush for his position." Overhearing this in the throng, a middle-aged man in a green baseball cap, Louis Nahanna, leaned over to say, "We love the American people" - adding, "Please don't let Bush forget us. Your support is very important."

Asking more people what they thought of Americans turned up the same refrain. From a young driver, Fadi Mrad, came the message: "We want to change. We need freedom. Please don't let Bush forget us." From a group of young men came not only the message "Our hope is America," and "We believe in democracy in the Middle East," but also praise for Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. There was also an invitation from one of them, young Edgard Baradhy, for his heroine, Ms. Rice, to come to Beirut "and I am ready to take her for coffee."?


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