Monday, December 26, 2005

Group Cites Progress in Middle East: WaPo Writer Flies Into Snit

Fred Hiatt's glass is half empty, and somebody spit in it

The "non-profit, nonpartisan organization" Freedom House notes improvement in the state of democracy in the Middle East in a December 19 press release:
The people of the Arab Middle East experienced a modest but potentially significant increase in political rights and civil liberties in 2005, Freedom House announced in a major survey of global freedom released today.
The press release goes on to mention Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as Lebanon as hopeful "potentially significant" signs of progress in the region. Only effects are cited, not causes. Thus there is no mention of the United States' role in Afghanistan's elevation from "Not Free" to "Partly Free" status. Likewise, those in Lebanon who cited the American intervention in Iraq as the spark that led to Syria's expulsion aren't quoted.

Unfortunately, even this implied faint praise for President Bush's Middle East foreign policy is a threat to Fred Hiatt at the Washington Post:
But even those bright spots had shadows. The gainers in Arab elections were Islamist parties that may or may not be committed to the democratic process. The elected government in Ukraine faced internal and external pressures. Liberia's president will need help from wealthier countries that she may not receive.
In Fred Hiatt's world the sky is always overcast during Republican administrations. What a sad little man.