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freedom spreading in the middle east

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The Wrath
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When President George Bush stood up at his inauguration speech in January and proclaimed his support for freedom and democracy around the world, his critics sneered. Democracy was not possible, whined the left. Arab countries? Just a bunch of tribes with flags! They could never self-govern. Bush wasn't being realistic, we were told. What was he going to do....invade every country that was not a democracy?

Well, totalitarian regimes continue to fall like dominoes in the Middle East. Lebanon's Syrian puppet prime minister and his cabinet quit yesterday, yielding to the thousands of protesters parked outside that were demanding democracy. They are also demanding that Syria get out of their country. Just take a look at some of the quotes from the demonstrators: "I love America. Tell Bush to come here. Thank him, thank Chirac (hey, nobody's perfect.) This is a great day for all Arab people." But wait...I thought they all hated us?

It's not just Lebanon.  There are going to be multi-party  elections in Egypt.  Not full-blown elections, but at least it's a start.  Saudi Arabian leaders are also considering some electoral processes.  Egyptians, Syrians, Iranians, Lebanese, Saudis .. they all want a serving of what Afghanistan and Iraq are having.

Look for the media to try and minimize this as much as possible. After all, it doesn't fit the Bush-bashing template. But make no mistake: Arab dictators throughout the Middle East have been served notice: liberty is on the march.

-Neal Boortz

Thoughts?

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Thoughts?

Call me a "Bush-basher" and one of those who "sneered" at his Second Inaugural speech. Any president who would make the following statement is nothing but a political charlatan and a pied piper for socialism:

"In America's ideal of freedom, citizens find the dignity and security of economic independence, instead of laboring on the edge of subsistence. This is the broader definition of liberty that motivated the Homestead Act, the Social Security Act, and the G.I. Bill of Rights."

Since when did the "ideal of freedom" become "security of economic independence"? Since when did "liberty" mean the welfare state? Notice that Boortz, while lambasting the media for minimizing things that don't "fit the Bush-bashing template," doesn't bother to mention this part of Bush's speech.

As for foreign policy specifics, I would point out that the Lebanese government did not resign as a result of any action Bush took. I would also point out that U.S. troops are being employed in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere to protect governments that are explicitly tied to Islamic law. How many Americans, I wonder, should die to maintain sharia?

Of course, if we accept Bush's newly coined version of "liberty," U.S. troops will also be dying overseas to preserve "security of economic independence"!

Edited by Tom Robinson
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To some extent, slow moves toward democracy pre-date the Iraq war.

The recent Iraqi elections have surely got more people in the middle-east thinking about democracy.

The serendipitous death of Arafat has opened a key window of hope.

At some point, things will reach "the tipping point". Are we there yet? I have no idea.

It will be odd if Bush ends up bumbling intop history as the person who created one of the key catalysts.

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I'm not voicing support for Bush or anything of the sort. I just thought the article made an interesting point that this sort of thing seems to be happening at an increased rate in the Middle East. Is it a trend? If so, will this potentially stabilize the region, or will things just fall back into to chaos?

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To some extent, slow moves toward democracy pre-date the Iraq war.

The recent Iraqi elections have surely got more people in the middle-east thinking about democracy.

Anyone enamored of the idea that more democracy means more freedom should consider the following: in 1900 less than half of the U.S. population had the right to vote, and no citizen had the power to vote directly for a U.S. senator. After World War I, the voting franchise was extended to virtually every adult in the population. In the years since this widely applauded extension of democracy, the federal government has grown without pause and individual freedom has shrunk to microscopic size.

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Democracy is nothing. What difference does it make if the people select their own throatcutters? Call me cynical about the whole thing, but I don't value the spreading of democracy, but rather the realization that individual rights must be protected. If the newly elected governments in Iraq and elsewhere move to that ideal, perhaps there will be cause for optimism. At this point, though, I see nothing but suicide bombs, American/Coalition troops dying and a nice tax bill.

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