Jun 15, 2009 10:10 am


You see, Obama spoke in Cairo and Lebanese decided not to vote for Hezbollah and Iranians to vote for Mousavi. Tom Friedman is a bit more honest and sophisticated for such a naive statement perhaps because he is in Lebanon where they know the real score: Bush is right to awaite calmly the judgement of history. It is going to be far superior to the contemporary view. So, Friedman gives "the devil" his due:

Second, for real politics to happen you need space. There are a million things to hate about President Bush’s costly and wrenching wars. But the fact is, in ousting Saddam in Iraq in 2003 and mobilizing the U.N. to push Syria out of Lebanon in 2005, he opened space for real democratic politics that had not existed in Iraq or Lebanon for decades. “Bush had a simple idea, that the Arabs could be democratic, and at that particular moment simple ideas were what was needed, even if he was disingenuous,” said Michael Young, the opinion editor of The Beirut Daily Star. “It was bolstered by the presence of a U.S. Army in the center of the Middle East. It created a sense that change was possible, that things did not always have to be as they were.”

Imagine that! Not to alienate"the ONE," Friedman adds:

Finally, along came President Barack Hussein Obama. Arab and Muslim regimes found it very useful to run against George Bush. The Bush team demonized them, and they demonized the Bush team. Autocratic regimes, like Iran’s, drew energy and legitimacy from that confrontation, and it made it very easy for them to discredit anyone associated with America. Mr. Obama’s soft power has defused a lot of that. As result, “pro-American” is not such an insult anymore.

I am not sure. Indubitably, regimes prefer the kow towing of Barack Obama but the US is less popular in Iran than it has been under Bush. Iranians know Bush was on their side while Obama is on the side of the Mullahs.

Just listen to his roaming silence.

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