Tiny minority of extremists update. “The Mideast casts its votes for extremists,” from the New York Daily News, with thanks to EPG:
Winds of Democratic change are blowing through the Middle East – and sending shivers through the White House.
Fed up with corruption and determined to oust governments seen as U.S. lackeys, newly minted voters in key Arab countries have propelled card-carrying terrorists and Islamic extremists into positions of power.
“¢ In Gaza, the militant Hamas organization won 77 out of 118 seats in recent local elections.
“¢ In Lebanon’s first vote free of Syrian domination, the Iranian-backed Islamic militant group Hezbollah swept the polls in the southern part of the country.
“¢ In Egypt, the radical and often violent Muslim Brotherhood has shifted tactics and started infiltrating the pro-democracy drive trying to oust longtime President Hosni Mubarak – a key American ally.
“The key point here is that democracy in the Middle East is about anti-Americanism right now,” said David Phillips of the Council on Foreign Relations.
In Beirut, Hezbollah spokesman Hussein Naboulsi said they know all they need to know about democracy.
“We don’t need America to teach us,” he said. “The turnout [at the recent election] was bigger than the elections four years ago. People wanted to say, ‘Look, we’re against American interference in our affairs, we’re against the American project and we will stand with the resistance.'”
The Hamas and Hezbollah victories place President Bush in a tough spot. On one hand, he has championed democracy as a cure-all for this troubled region. On the other, he adamantly refuses to deal with terrorists.
“The problem [for Bush] is that these elections aren’t skewing public opinion, they’re reflecting public opinion, which is decidedly against American policies in the region,” said Peter Singer of the Brookings Institution.
I told you so — over two years ago. This isn’t because of American actions or alleged crimes. This is because of the region’s attachment to Islam and Sharia.
At National Review today they’re saying that Iraqis are “skeptical about a U.S. withdrawal, but they see the American route appears to be leading to independence. And they know the jihadist route is one too horrible to contemplate.” But the votes say otherwise.