Mr. Foggy Bottom

By

I have always despised the world view of Arnaud de Borchgrave. Everytime he speaks I hear the echo of some jaded, not too bright foreign service officer who can tell you how to pronounce the name of the Assistant Deputy Animal Control officer in Zamboanga or the best place to buy Harissa in the Tunis souk. And from there after a drink or two the officer's disquisition devolves into the kind of half—baked meaningless  diplospeak favored by Foggy Bottomites like Scowcroft and Joe Wilson.

Yesterday's piece in which he cites the election of Hamas as evidence that the notion of democratizing the Middle East is so much hogwash is no exception:

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 (UPI) —— Free elections, we have been told ad nauseam, lead to a healthy body politic called democracy. Unfortunately for those who see the cliché as an article of faith, free elections and democracy are not synonymous. Hitler won a free election — and went on to build the world's most formidable war machine in history's blink of an eye.

A free election recently propelled Evo Morales, a man whose idols are Fidel Castro and his Venezuelan look—alike Hugo Chavez, and who represents the coca growers of Bolivia, to the presidency of his country. Freely elected Chavez is spreading his oil—at—almost—$70—a—barrel money in the world's fifth largest oil exporter (and fourth largest U.S. oil supplier) to push South and Central America and Mexico to a blend of neo—Marxism and state capitalism. The far left's candidate for the Mexican presidency has now pulled abreast of the other two challengers.

No one said free elections and democracy were synonomous. (And it is hardly true that Chavez was "freely elected",Jimmy Carter to the contrary, notwithstanding.)What the Administration has said is that  free elections are an important part of the democratic process.

Someone would have to down many  pitchersful of gin and tonic at the foreign officers' service club , to miss how uncontestibly right the Administration's process argument is.Even if it doesn't win you a post on some Saudi funded think tank .

Clarice Feldman  1 29 06

I have always despised the world view of Arnaud de Borchgrave. Everytime he speaks I hear the echo of some jaded, not too bright foreign service officer who can tell you how to pronounce the name of the Assistant Deputy Animal Control officer in Zamboanga or the best place to buy Harissa in the Tunis souk. And from there after a drink or two the officer's disquisition devolves into the kind of half—baked meaningless  diplospeak favored by Foggy Bottomites like Scowcroft and Joe Wilson.

Yesterday's piece in which he cites the election of Hamas as evidence that the notion of democratizing the Middle East is so much hogwash is no exception:

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 (UPI) —— Free elections, we have been told ad nauseam, lead to a healthy body politic called democracy. Unfortunately for those who see the cliché as an article of faith, free elections and democracy are not synonymous. Hitler won a free election — and went on to build the world's most formidable war machine in history's blink of an eye.

A free election recently propelled Evo Morales, a man whose idols are Fidel Castro and his Venezuelan look—alike Hugo Chavez, and who represents the coca growers of Bolivia, to the presidency of his country. Freely elected Chavez is spreading his oil—at—almost—$70—a—barrel money in the world's fifth largest oil exporter (and fourth largest U.S. oil supplier) to push South and Central America and Mexico to a blend of neo—Marxism and state capitalism. The far left's candidate for the Mexican presidency has now pulled abreast of the other two challengers.

No one said free elections and democracy were synonomous. (And it is hardly true that Chavez was "freely elected",Jimmy Carter to the contrary, notwithstanding.)What the Administration has said is that  free elections are an important part of the democratic process.

Someone would have to down many  pitchersful of gin and tonic at the foreign officers' service club , to miss how uncontestibly right the Administration's process argument is.Even if it doesn't win you a post on some Saudi funded think tank .

Clarice Feldman  1 29 06