The News: February 2005 Archives

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is calling for real presidential elections in Egypt, something he's never done in 24 years. They might end up being rigged, but symbolism is important.

Aside: it's great when AP uses native stringers to report on the Mideast.

The audience before [Mubarak] at Menoufia University broke into applause and calls of support, some shouting, "Long live Mubarak, mentor of freedom and democracy!" Others spontaneously recited verses of poetry praising the government.
The credulous tone sounds like Pravda in the bad old days.

In my estimation, the Islamofascists have made a serious strategic error by choosing to make terrorism and perverted religiousity into their sole means of gaining support. This essentially concedes all other aspects of economic and civil life to America and her allies. We can show that by accepting basic human freedoms, people can eat well, watch their children grow in safety, have better jobs, and alleviate corruption in public life, all while continuing to honor God in their own way. Their slogan is, "Support us because God wills it, or we'll blow up your house." Not the best way to gain the support of The People.

Here's a quick review of the last 15 months in the Mideast:

Afghanistan: Held free and fair elections. Currently governed by a liberal regime (by regional standards). Working to exterminate the last holdouts of armed Islamofascists.

Egypt: Making moves to allow real national elections.

Iran: The government is still one of the most oppressive in the world, but their people don't support them. Reform or regime change is practically inevitable, though it might not happen for years; any new government is almost guaranteed to be more pro-Western and pro-U.S.

Iraq: Held elections which the Islamofascists didn't enter and couldn't disrupt. Working to build a civil society in most areas of the country, and even the Sunni-dominated areas have apparently realized they're going to lose out if they don't play ball with the new government.

Israel: Withdrawing settlers from Palestinian areas. Moving toward restarting talks with the Palestinian authority.

Jordan: Continues its quiet, under-the-table alliance with America by training Iraqi security forces and providing logistical support to non-military programs in Iraq.

Libya: Dismantled its nuclear bomb program (which was alarmingly advanced) and opened itself to the West.

Saudi Arabia: Felt compelled to hold sham elections where the only candidates were the ones vetted by the religious ministry. Still, they didn't feel compelled to fake elections before.

Syria: Starts making noises about withdrawing from Lebanon, which is a good start.

We can be sure that we will suffer setbacks, but President Bush doesn't look so crazy anymore for saying Iraq was the key to eliminating despotism and oppression in the Mideast. Still skeptical? Try this: think of one large regional trend that is going against us right now, or a country that is becoming less friendly to democracy and freedom.

In sum, our Islamofascist opponents are losing men, territory, and popular support. This isn't the time for triumphalism or complacency, but let's be honest: America and her allies are willing the war on terrorism, and the Mideast as a region is moving toward liberalization.

Getting Terri's story right


As Terri Schindler Schiavo's situation enters into danger again, keep an eye out for errors in news reporting about her. This morning the local news-radio station in Boston reported incorrectly that Terri was on life support "machines" and had been so for years. This was of course incorrect; she gets food through a tube, but it's nothing high-tech.

Fortunately, it was easy enough to call the news department and report the mistake. The staffer who took the call was familiar with Terri's story, and expressed her puzzlement that one of the news writers would get it wrong. All in all, I was glad to find somebody in the news biz acknowledging a mistake and promising to correct it.

What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the The News category from February 2005.

The News: December 2004 is the previous archive.

The News: March 2005 is the next archive.

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