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Bush a Genius Says NY Times

 
 
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 07:30 am
Mideast Climate Change

It's not even spring yet, but a long-frozen political order seems to be cracking all over the Middle East. Cautious hopes for something new and better are stirring along the Tigris and the Nile, the elegant boulevards of Beirut, and the impoverished towns of the Gaza Strip. It is far too soon for any certainties about ultimate outcomes. In Iraq, a brutal insurgency still competes for headlines with post-election democratic maneuvering. Yesterday a suicide bomber plowed into a crowd of Iraqi police and Army recruits, killing at least 122 people - the largest death toll in a single such bombing since the American invasion nearly two years ago. And the Palestinian terrorists who blew up a Tel Aviv nightclub last Friday underscored the continuing fragility of what has now been almost two months of steady political and diplomatic progress between Israelis and Palestinians.

Still, this has so far been a year of heartening surprises - each one remarkable in itself, and taken together truly astonishing. The Bush administration is entitled to claim a healthy share of the credit for many of these advances. It boldly proclaimed the cause of Middle East democracy at a time when few in the West thought it had any realistic chance. And for all the negative consequences that flowed from the American invasion of Iraq, there could have been no democratic elections there this January if Saddam Hussein had still been in power. Washington's challenge now lies in finding ways to nurture and encourage these still fragile trends without smothering them in a triumphalist embrace.

Lebanon's political reawakening took a significant new turn yesterday when popular protests brought down the pro-Syrian government of Prime Minister Omar Karami. Syria's occupation of Lebanon, nearly three decades long, started tottering after the Feb. 14 assassination of the country's leading independent politician, the former prime minister Rafik Hariri.

If Damascus had a hand in this murder, as many Lebanese suspect, it had a boomerang effect on Lebanon's politics. Instead of intimidating critics of Syria's dominant role, it inflamed them. To stem the growing backlash over the Hariri murder, last week Syria announced its intentions to pull back its occupation forces to a region near the border - although without offering any firm timetable. Yesterday, with protests continuing, the pro-Syrian cabinet resigned. Washington, in an unusual alliance with France, continues to press for full compliance with the Security Council's demand for an early and complete Syrian withdrawal. That needs to happen promptly. Once Syria is gone, Hezbollah, which has engaged in international terrorism under Syrian protection, must either confine itself to peaceful political activity or be shut down.

Last weekend's surprise announcement of plans to hold at least nominally competitive presidential elections in Egypt could prove even more historic, although many of the specific details seem likely to be disappointing. Egypt is the Arab world's most populous country and one of its most politically influential. In more than five millenniums of recorded history, it has never seen a truly free and competitive election.

To be realistic, Egypt isn't likely to see one this year either. For all his talk of opening up the process, President Hosni Mubarak, 76, is likely to make sure that no threatening candidates emerge to deny him a fifth six-year term. But after seeing more than eight million Iraqis choose their leaders in January, Egypt's voters, and its increasingly courageous opposition movement, will no longer retreat into sullen hopelessness so readily. The Bush administration has helped foster that feeling of hope for a democratic future by keeping the pressure on Mr. Mubarak. But the real heroes are on-the-ground patriots like Ayman Nour, who founded a new party aptly named Tomorrow last October and is now in jail. If Mr. Mubarak truly wants more open politics, he should free Mr. Nour promptly.

It is similarly encouraging that the terrorists who attacked a Tel Aviv nightclub on Friday, killing five Israelis, have not yet managed to completely scuttle the new peace dynamic between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel contends that those terrorists were sponsored by Syria, but its soldiers reported discovering an explosives-filled car in the West Bank yesterday. The good news is that the leaders on both sides did not instantly retreat to familiar corners in angry rejectionism. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the new Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, have proved they can work together to thwart terrorism and deny terrorists an instant veto over progress toward a negotiated peace.

Over the past two decades, as democracies replaced police states across Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America, and a new economic dynamism lifted hundreds of millions of eastern and southern Asia out of poverty and into the middle class, the Middle East stagnated in a perverse time warp that reduced its brightest people to hopelessness or barely contained rage. The wonder is less that a new political restlessness is finally visible, but that it took so long to break through the ice.

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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 14,169 • Replies: 377
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Community Card
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 07:39 am
..and bush is a genius because ?
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Brandon9000
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 07:54 am
Yeah, I'm really gratified that they are starting to see the light.
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Community Card
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 07:58 am
Bradon,

1-What's the genius part of Bush, I just can't seem to see it from your post, so I would appreciate it if you could highlight it for instance.

2-Who's "they" ?
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revel
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 08:11 am
If war was justified on the basis of giving people democracy, then I would agree, Bush was a genius. I would imagine it did open people's eyes over in that part of the world to see people choosing their own leaders.

However, war is not justified based on democracy and every other reason they gave was lies that they had reason to believe at the time was lies.

Not only that but now they are seeing just how hard it is to get it going as it was a month ago that Iraqi's voted and they are now mired in internal conflicts and haven't picked a prime minister or any other position yet.

Also the violence is getting worse not better and it seems to be targeted towards the group that won the most votes leaving the second place group oddly left untouched by violence.
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FreeDuck
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 08:14 am
What will that liberal NY Times come up with next?
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 08:21 am
Genius, according to 'Britannica', is "a person of extraordinary intellectual power".

Well, I will believe this now as I believe that God appointed Bush schoolmaster of the world, Imperator, ... ... ... name it.
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McGentrix
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 08:56 am
SO, I am driving home from work listening to NPR like I always do and what I heard nearly made me wreck my car. I had to pull over and look for the flying pigs, I listened for the fat lady and I was wondering if the cows had finally come home. It was cold, but I didn't quite think hell had froze over.

NPR had a canadian writter say something positive about George Bush.

Can you imagine? ON THE AIR no less! She was referring to the release of a pro-democratic activist in Egypt. Bush had sort of threatened Egypt but cutting the amount of aide they received and sending a letter of protest to Egypt.

Imagine that.

Foriegn policy that works without one bullet being fired, without much media attention, yet effective, democratic change...

I made it home safe.
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Brandon9000
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 09:11 am
McGentrix wrote:
NPR had a canadian writter say something positive about George Bush.

Yes, vindication is sweet.
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DrewDad
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 09:46 am
McGentrix wrote:
Foriegn policy that works without one bullet being fired... yet effective, democratic change...

I would imagine that this was the point.
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Asherman
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 11:11 am
Its well known that I'm a strong supporter of Bush's foreign and military policies. I favor a strong unambiguous stand against the enemies of the country. The effective and timely use of military force against our enemies in appropriate situations should be a cornerstone of our foreign policy. Military force used in Afghanistan and Iraq were, I believe, justified. The Bush administration has taken a lot of flack from the left both at home and abroad, but they have had the strength to "stay the course" of policies that the administration believes proper. The administration has made mistakes and miscalculations, but no one should be expected to be perfect or see the future with the 20-20 vision of hindsight.

I believe that the wisdom of the administration's policies is increasingly evident. Libya has abandoned its nuclear program and no longer apparently supports international terrorism. There are no more terrorist training camps in Afghaanistan, there is an elected secular government and humanistic values are being encouraged. Saddam and his brutal dictatorship is replaced with a freely elected Iraqi government that appears to be gaining strength against radical terrorists who oppose any government not dominated by themselves. In Lebanon we see the quickening of a desire for independence and liberty from Syrian domination. Israel and the Palestinians are talking seriously about peace for the first time. The tensions between Pakistan and India are relaxing. These are all good things folks, and I doubt that they would have occurred if Bush and Company had been less dedicated to taking a hard line against the radical international Islamic terrorist organizations that have been waging war against us since the mid-1990's.

On the other hand, Bush as a genius? You have to be kidding. The man is educated to his capacity, and is a poor advertisement for Yale. His ability to use the English language is barely up to the standards of a mediocre high school. I wouldn't be surprised if he could name the fifty States without prompting. Apparently he reads ... a little. Bush may have an IQ of maybe 120, but maybe not. What he has is the good sense to surround himself with bright and skillful people. He has some basic principles that he adheres to without much deviation. He tends, I think, to be a bit idealistic and has limited patience with those who don't share his basic values. The man isn't a genius, but he is doing a pretty good job in difficult times. Bear with him, but let's not deceiver ourselves into thinking he is something he's not.
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Ticomaya
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 11:23 am
Asherman: as usual, I agree.
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Lash
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 11:36 am
Lebanon.

Another one bites the dust...

Bush is changing the world.
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 11:40 am
Lash wrote:

Bush is changing the world.


Yes, a genius, as the title says - or even more, better.
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Dookiestix
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 11:44 am
Oooh, boy, here we go... Rolling Eyes
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revel
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 11:54 am
So you all figure that the invasion of Iraq which the world was against (most of the world) is responsible for the changes that are taking place in the world?

If that is so, I guess that is one good thing to come out of all this.

However I don't understand how Iraq can be counted a success just because they had elections. I mean everyday there is huge violence and nothing is settled and I don't see it getting settled any time soon.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4308529.stm
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Lash
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 12:01 pm
Here is the PLAN...

Create a democracy in the ME.
Fortunes will improve for Les Miserables, who have nothing good enough in their lives than get blown up for virgins.
Other oppressed ME types will see Iraqis choosing their leaders and having an active role in their self-determination.
They will throw the yoke off their necks as well.
Terrorism will decrease substantially.
Freedom and democracy will increase.
Just as peace breaks out in the ME, China will declare war... (kidding)
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Foxfyre
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 12:10 pm
It was economic warfare, specifically targeted at the USSR, that toppled one of the most efficient, effective, and authoritative totalitarian socialist regimes in modern times. As a result of that effort, one by one by one all the others also toppled. Do all currently have U.S. style constitutions and human rights? Absolutely not. Are all better off than they were? Absolutely yes.

It is not surprising that other oppressed peoples want to be able to dance in the street as they saw the Iraqis doing. Radio and satellite TV no longer allows oppressive regimes to totally isolate their people as they once did. Once the desire and hope for freedom is placed in the hearts and minds of people, there is no turning it back.

It was our hope in Vietnam too--that domino effect of toppling dictatorships, but we pulled our punches and conceded defeat there in the face of overwhelming negative public opinion. This time most of the people have hung in there and most will live to see a much freer, more stable, more productive, less dangerous world in my opinion. It won't happen overnight--massive social change never does.

I would encourage those who still see nothing but death, destruction, and gloomy outlook to change their reading habits. There is so much good news out there. And the more we build on that, the faster the best will come.
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 12:14 pm
Foxfyre wrote:
It was economic warfare, specifically targeted at the USSR, that toppled one of the most efficient, effective, and authoritative totalitarian socialist regimes in modern times.


Do I understand you correctly that Glasnost and Perestroika are a result of the US economic warfare?
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Foxfyre
 
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Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 12:18 pm
Yep. Gorbachev and Yeltsin both said as much. They tried to run with the U.S. in the arms race and they went broke before we did. Reform was the only option after that.
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