View Full Version : Maybe these are good red-staters

03-15-2005, 01:00 AM
Some comments from Middle-easterners lately.

opinionjournal (http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110006422)

That's right, they're quoting President Bush, the simian-American unilateralist cowboy! And they're not alone. In a Washington Post essay, Youssef Ibrahim, formerly a reporter for the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and now a Dubai-based consultant, says that throughout the Arab world are coming "murmurs of approval for the devoutly Christian U.S. president, whose persistent calls for democracy in the Middle East are looking less like preaching and more like timely encouragement":

"His talk about democracy is good," an Egyptian-born woman was telling companions at the Fatafeet (or "Crumbs") restaurant the other night, exuberant enough for her voice to carry to neighboring tables. "He keeps hitting this nail. That's good, by God, isn't it?" At another table, a Lebanese man was waxing enthusiastic over Bush's blunt and irreverent manner toward Arab autocrats. "It is good to light a fire under their feet," he said.

From Casablanca to Kuwait City, the writings of newspaper columnists and the chatter of pundits on Arabic language satellite television suggest a change in climate for advocates of human rights, constitutional reforms, business transparency, women's rights and limits on power. And while developments differ vastly from country to country, their common feature is a lifting--albeit a tentative one--of the fear that has for decades constricted the Arab mind.

Regardless of Bush's intentions--which many Arabs and Muslims still view with suspicion--the U.S. president and his neoconservative crowd are helping to spawn a spirit of reform and a new vigor to confront dynastic dictatorships and other assorted ills.