Sunday, January 15, 2006

"Mr. Bush, Where Do We Go from Here?"

In a Miami Herald editorial, Ike Seamans explains how Bush's vaunted drive for democracy in the Middle East seems to benefit Islamic fundamentalists. The first two paragraphs follow:

President Bush's push for democracy in the Middle East is lurching forward, but not as fast or in the manner he anticipated.

There's only one group reaping significant benefits from his initiative: Islamic fundamentalists. In Iraq, the big winners are religious extremists with absolutely no interest in Western-style democracy, mirroring the recent success by Hezbollah in Lebanon; and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas in the Palestinian territories, which has cleverly recast itself as a political party to mask its obsessive goal of destroying Israel. Islamists have discovered that by participating in the fledgling democratic process, getting elected is a snap, provided they -- and voters -- aren't harassed, beaten or arrested by government goons as occurred in Egypt last month. If truly free elections were held, they'd win in a landslide.

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