"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

1.26.2006

look that jack of diamonds in the eye

Okay, I listened to Bush's press conference concerning the Palestenian elections on the way into work today, and it was one of the most entertaining things I've heard in awhile. He spent a lot of time talking about how great democracy is and how when people aren't happy with their leaders, they say so at the ballot box. Problem is, though, as Bush noted, it's not good when the elected party advocates the destruction of Israel as part of its platform. But he maintained that democracy and the democratic process and reform and all that is good.

The thing is, Hamas ain't our kind of democracy. Bush made a mistake by stating outright that the U.S. wants Abbas to stay in power, which is kindof hard to do when you don't have a parliamentary majority. And democracy can be a real problem for the U.S. of A. when people aren't in a society that has the same ideas as we do about individual freedoms and religious liberty. It can also be a problem when radical parties run reform-minded campaigns and appeal to a dissatisfied, economically-hurting population. Hitler won the vote doing just that.

I'm not saying that I think that Palestinians shouldn't have democratic elections - far from it. But the Bush administration needs to wake up and understand what the democracy it wants to create in the Middle East actually means.

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