Yea. Um. Hullo?:
SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt — After a showy celebration of America’s close ties with Israel, President Bush was expected to present Arab leaders with a lengthy to-do list on Sunday, telling them that if Middle East peace is to become a reality, they must expand their economies, offer equal opportunity to women and embrace democracy.Now, granted, neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton is in any danger of being thrown in the hoosegow...altho the Rezko trial ain't over yet...but to say others must embrace democracy as we erode it away is a little like starting a land war in South Asia: idiotic.
Mr. Bush’s three-day stay in Jerusalem last week has drawn criticism from Arab leaders, including the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, who say he has been insensitive to the plight of Palestinians. He came to this Red Sea resort city to try to soften that impression and reassure regional leaders he is committed to their cause.
But in prepared remarks released ahead of a Sunday afternoon appearance at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East, a gathering of world leaders, diplomats and business executives, Mr. Bush seemed to chide as much as reassure.
“Too often in the Middle East, politics has consisted of one leader in power and the opposition in jail,” Mr. Bush said in the address, adding, “The time has come for nations across the Middle East to abandon these practices, and treat their people with the dignity and respect they deserve.”
The liberties we've given up, quietly, with little fanfare, are astounding. You can't travel anyplace out of the country without first being vetted. You can't open a bank account without proving every detail about your life, right down to your utility bill. You can't rent a movie or borrow a book from a library without some flunky at the DHS glancing at your activity.
You can't make a telephone call, cell or landline, without popping up on a list and god help you if that call is to a Muslim nation!
This is a democracy only in form and even there, with the imminent threat of stolen elections dangling over our heads, perhaps "name only" is a better way of putting it!
Similarly, "economic reforms" for Arab countries is code for "share the wealth". Emirs and sheiks control the lion's share of revenues flowing into nations from Saudi Arabia to Qatar.
For America, which now sees the largest single inequity in personal income since at least the Great Depression, to chide any other nation about its income structure is absurd, particularly as we worked hard these past seven years to institute a formal recognition that, indeed, the rich really DO get richer, off the backs of the working classes in this nation who create that wealth.
You know... Clinton voters.
A true acknowledgment of this terrible situation would see Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee, sweeping to election in November. Clearly, the middle classes are terrified of this. After all, the middle class relies deeply on the rich to create the cushy middle management jobs upon which they rely on to work without getting their hands calloused and dirty. We survive and subsist on the scraps of the rich, but those scraps are just big enough to keep us complacent.
Nevermind that job security and company loyalty no longer work both ways.
And yes, let's focus on Bush's other point for a second: women.
It's great to see a woman actually contend for the highest office in the land and arguably the most powerful job in the world.
It's highly symbolic, at the same breath. Look at how many Obombers and McCainistas claim she got there by dint of her husband.
Neither Obama nor McCain has exactly made it on their own either. Cindy McCain was independently wealthy, freeing John to be a politico, and Michelle Obama appears to have a fair amount of money in her own right, seeing as all these shady real estate deals were done in her name only.
That would be an interesting sidelight to an Obama administration: can the First Lady be imprisoned?
And it is this perception, that a woman somehow need a magical "leg up" while men do not, despite the fact that the old boy's network has been up and running for hundreds of years in America, must change. It is this segregated thinking that marginalizes women...and yes, minorities, too. And while it's not as pervasive as blatant discrimination can be, it is nonetheless insidious and affective.
So, Dumbya? Clean your own house first before you go around talking about the trash in other people's kitchens.