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Bush, Promoter of Democracy?

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Bush chose an appearance at Freedom House (ironically a promoter of
democracy) on March 29 to drive a spike into the heart of his project to
encourage the growth and spread of democracy in the Middle East. Here's
how Peter Baker reported this in yesterday's Washington Post:
  Quote: And he expressed sympathy for Palestinian refugees without
backing down from threats to cut off aid to the newly elected Hamas
government. "I weep about the suffering of the Palestinians," he said.
"I particularly weep about the fact that the leadership has let them
down for year after year after year." He acknowledged that the elections
that brought Hamas to power were fair but called on the new government
to renounce its goal of destroying Israel.  "We support democracy, but
that doesn't mean we have to support governments that get elected as a
result of democracy," he said. End quote. Huh?
  Elisabeth Bumiller reported this aspect of the meeting in
yesterday's New York Times as follows:
  Quote: The president also fielded a question about the American
decision to cut off direct funds to the Palestinian Authority now that
Hamas has taken control of the government. Washington has decided to
redirect the money through the United Nations and independent relief
groups. The questioner, a Palestinian, asked why the United States was
"punishing us and cutting funds for people who chose fair and free
elections," and hurting "the refugees, the poor, the malnourished
mothers and children?" Mr. Bush said, "I think that aid should go to
suffering Palestinians, but nor should it go to a government, however,
which has expressed its desire to destroy its neighbor," Israel. He
added, "We support the election process, we support democracy, but that
doesn't mean we have to support governments that get elected as a result
of democracy." End quote.

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Robert V. Keeley