Jebus, Meet the Press was excruciating today.
MR. RUSSERT: One interesting development is what is happening in the Middle East. After the Iraqi election, other Arabs looked upon that and said, "Hmm." [...] Is there something going on in the Middle East because of what happened in Iraq?
MR. SAFIRE: Well, having zapped the president just a moment ago, I've been a big believer in the rightness of the cause of going into Iraq and changing the regime. And with Tom--sometimes we agree, and on this one I think we do agree that the noble motive of changing the whole dynamic of the Middle East seems to be working. I mean, it didn't work as well as we had hoped, but it's catching on. Now, look at the role that we're on electorally. The Afghan election surprised everybody. Eighty percent of the people turned out, against all intimidation, and we had a democratic election there. I'm looking at a cheat sheet here. Australia came up with an election supporting the government that supported us in Iraq. The USA, clear victory for Bush. Ukraine--suddenly the democrats won and threw out the Putin appointee. Iraq, we got a real election despite the al-Qaeda and Ba'athist, fascist insurgency. The Palestinians had a somewhat democratic election, and now in Lebanon we may just next month have a democratic election. And as you say, Egypt has begun to talk about it. Talk is cheap but we'll see what happens.
Gosh, Mr. Safire, maybe if Timmy Richards wins the election for treasurer of the student council at Northern Decatur Middle School, that will be because of the freedom on the march in Iraq as well. But I hate to rain on your "electoral roll" here, but there are few inconvenient facts, that you should consider.
Iraqi elections took place on Jan. 30, 2005.
The 1st election in Ukraine took place on Oct. 31, 2004. The re-vote took place on Dec. 26, 2004. They took place because they were scheduled to take place then, not because there were elections in Iraq months later.
The Afghan elections took place on Oct. 9, 2004. They took place because they were scheduled to take place then, not because there were elections in Iraq months later.
The Palestinian elections took place on Jan. 9, 2005. They took place because Yasir Arafat had died, not because there were elections in Iraq at the end of the month.
Lebanon hasn't had elections yet, but if they do it will be because the assassination of a former prime minister, Rafiq Hariri, prompted an outcry against Syrian intervention in Lebanese politics.
I know, Mr. Safire, that you like to think anything good that happens in world can only be the result of the actions of your Dear Leader, but I hate to break the news to you: there were elections around the world when Bill Clinton was president too. I know you might not believe it, but you're a smart guy. I'm sure if you get your head out of your ass long enough to, say, open a book, you might find that not everything in the world is a direct result of the president's decision to invade Iraq.
But in all seriousness folks, maybe our
friends colleagues on right could, ya know, stick to the whole one-directional-movement-of-time thing when analysing world politics.