Thursday, March 03, 2005

Winds of democratic change across Middle East?

I recently had a conversation, in the sauna, with one of my deep thinking friends. He tends to be a follower of the blog Andrew Sullivan.

There is some encouraging news coming out of the new Palestinian leadership. Hopefully putting aside violence and opting for better tools to change society.

I remember an old quote that goes, "the pen is mightier than the sword."

There is also encouraging news from Lebanon, even though I don't always follow international events that closely.

Elections have taken place in a few spots around the Middle East. I hear that even Saudi Arabia has recently had local elections, but only men were allowed to vote. A tiny step at least.

Of course there has been quite a bit of fanfare made about the elections in Iraq. Some encouraging news, but it's still a bumpy road.

There is an "elephant in the room question." That is, "does the good news vindicate foreign policy of George Bush?"

Elephant has several meanings. It can mean large as well as being the Republican Party's mascot symbol.

Of course some would say the good news is a creation of "bias American media."

I would like to think that there can be, at least, some "good news" coming from the Middle East. There certainly has been a lot of "bad news" coming from that region over the decades.

I am not really a fan of George Bush, but I have never thought of him as being "the devil incarnate" either.

I do feel that stern policies and use of military force is often vindicated by environments where there is lots of anger and violence.

A harsh environment can be seen as "fertile ground" for the "George Bush" style thinking.

I remember another phrase that says, "he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword."

One can also say, "if the sword rules, the one with the biggest sword wins."

On the other hand, a less violent world could render someone like George Bush less effective. In another realm, he could be seen as a "fish out of water."

What seems vindicated, in a violent world, might become a burden in a more peaceful environment.

Will the large military bankrupt us in peace time?

Here in the USA, where battles are more apt to be fought by pen, rather than sword, Bush, and the Republican Party can still go down to defeat. Another election is usually around the corner. Bush is having a hard time convincing Americans of his scheme to privatize part of Social Security.

Future political landscapes may not be as "fertile ground" for the Bush agenda as the harsh world of past Middle Eastern news has been.

Hopefully the vicious cycle of violence and force will eventually subside and we can go beyond what some would call the "George Bush era."

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