LEBANESE CREDIT BUSH; FRIEDMAN CREDITS OBAMA
I confess. I’m a sucker for free and fair elections. . . . So I came to Lebanon on Sunday to watch the Lebanese hold their national election. It was indeed free and fair — not like the pretend election you are about to see in Iran, where only candidates approved by the Supreme Leader can run. No, in Lebanon it was the real deal, and the results were fascinating: President Barack Obama defeated President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran.
I read on hoping for a quote confirming the speculation. There wasn't one. He did have one crediting President Bush:
As more than one Lebanese whispered to me: Without George Bush standing up to the Syrians in 2005 — and forcing them to get out of Lebanon after the Hariri killing — this free election would not have happened. Mr. Bush helped create the space. Power matters.
Actually, Bush did not use any power. Once Nassralah attacked, Israel used power. But do not expect anyone to credit her. Instead, Friedman continues thus:
Mr. Obama helped stir the hope. Words also matter.
Well, at least he did not follow in the footsteps of those who manufature quotes. For believe me, if even one Lebanese would have credited Obama, he would have quoted him. As is, Friedman merely resorts to assertions. I can see W. shrugging his shoulders. He knows history will vindicate him and Lebanese (and Iranians, for that matter) know Obama could not care less about spreading democracy.
Indeed, the opposite is true. Obama believes that American efforts to spread democracy is nothing but an expression of American hubris and he wishes to promote a humble American foreign policy by such actions as referring to the Koran as holy, bowing deeply before the Saudi King and extending a hand of frienship to dictators.
Tom Friedman knows all this. But he still wishes too much to be in Obama's good book to tell the truth.
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