- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
Freedom ‘on the march,’ White House declares
Question of the Day
The White House, buoyed by the fall of Lebanon’s pro-Syria government and other signs of democratization throughout the Middle East, yesterday proclaimed that “democracy and freedom are on the march.”
Although careful not to gloat over encouraging developments that still could turn sour, administration officials were heartened by the speed with which President Bush’s foreign policy of introducing liberty to the Middle East appears to be bearing fruit.
“You’re seeing across the world, most notably in the Middle East, that democracy and freedom are on the march,” said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. “There is a commitment to moving forward on democratic reforms.”
Middle East analyst Marc Ginsberg, who was an ambassador to Morocco during the Clinton administration, said Mr. Bush “deserves credit” for aggressively trying to spread freedom in the region. He said the catalyst for reform was Iraq, which held its first free elections on Jan. 30.
“That vote had enormous emotional ramifications for the people in that region, who were really taken aback by what they saw,” he said. “Every Arab newspaper that I’m reading now uses the phrase: ‘Why there and not here?’”
Dennis Ross, who was a Middle East envoy under the first President Bush and President Clinton, said the tide has begun to turn in the region.
“Something profound’s going on right now, and what it really is, more than anything else, is a loss of fear,” he said. “Every Arab regime has ruled basically through coercion and intimidation, and suddenly the fear factor is eroding.”
He added: “It’s not just regional. I think that what has influenced the Lebanese in particular was also the Orange Revolution in Kiev. The notion that if you stand together, you can reverse fraud, you can force those who have always oppressed you to, in fact, withdraw.”
Although Mr. Bush has described his push for democratization of the Middle East as a strategy that might take 50 years or more to fully implement, his aides noted that it already is paying short-term dividends.
Lebanon’s pro-Syria government abruptly resigned yesterday amid pro-democracy demonstrations in Beirut. The move came one week after Mr. Bush gave a speech in Brussels declaring that “the Lebanese people have the right to be free.”
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced Saturday that Egypt will hold its first direct, multiparty presidential elections. Mr. Bush, in his Brussels speech, called on Egypt to “show the way toward democracy in the Middle East.”
Iraq announced this weekend that Syria has captured Saddam Hussein’s half brother, a leader of Iraq’s insurgency, and turned him over to Baghdad with 29 other fugitives. The announcement came in the wake of Mr. Bush’s admonition in Brussels that “the Syrian regime must take stronger action to stop those who support violence and subversion in Iraq.”
While these developments transpired within the past week, the stage for democratization was set earlier by the toppling of despotic regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, elections have been held in the Palestinian territories and, on a limited basis, in Saudi Arabia.
In Lebanon, Druze opposition leader Walid Jumblatt, a frequent critic of the United States, credited Mr. Bush for the recent trend toward democratization.
“It’s strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq,” he told columnist David Ignatius of The Washington Post last week. “I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world.”
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Budget deal exposes GOP divisions; conservatives slam tax hikes, vague cuts
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- Obama's antics at Nelson Mandela tribute: Jovial conversation, handshake with Raul Castro
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow