Bush-Blair press conference
For example, you know, the notion of democracy beginning to emerge scares the ideologues, the totalitarians, those who want to impose their vision. It just frightens them.[emphasis added] Uh, last time I checked "those militants" (Hamas) won the Palestinian elections. I think for Bush, "democracy" means "being like us". He just can't imagine a democratically elected government hostile to Israel or the United States. So he gets really confused when the democratically elected governments (Hamas, Iraq) are unfriendly to Israel. He doesn't understand that the more democratic the Middle East becomes, the more unfriendly it will be to Israel and the United States, at least in the intermediate term. It's going to take an enormous amount of bridge-building before "people power" in much of the Middle East is pro-US. And of course right now, bridges are being blown up rather than built.
And so they respond. They've always been violent.
You know, I hear this amazing kind of editorial thought that says, all of a sudden, Hezbollah's become violent because we're promoting democracy. They have been violent for a long period of time. Or Hamas?
One reason why the Palestinians still suffer is because there are militants who refuse to accept a Palestinian state based upon democratic principles.
I have to echo Sullivan's dismay here, even though I don't share his hawkish stance:
But he is so out of his depth - rhetorically, strategically, politically, intellectually - that it is hard to have much confidence in his leadership. This is one reason why I couldn't endorse him for a second term. He is an incompetent. He is too incompetent to lead the West at this time. He is simply without the skills to navigate the very treacherous waters we are all now in. He is being outmaneuvered at every turn by wily enemies who are becoming more dangerous and emboldened by the day.
Bush, in a word, is overwhelmed. He has no idea what to do except return to the catechism of freedom versus terror, like an ideological security blanket. Of course that it what this is about. The trouble is: freedom is being defended by the incompetent and the clueless. In Bush's blank, bewildered eyes, you see the image of someone who is finally beginning to see reality. And it's something with which he simply cannot cope. Our enemies, moreover, see the weakness in the president and they are ruthlessly exploiting it. And we have more than two years left to survive.