Where Credit is Due
I have to give Thomas Friedman credit. His column today, Shaking Up the Neighbors
, was sharp and to the point. It was a tough critique of the Arab world. The beginning is the best:
Shortly after the 25-member Governing Council was appointed in Iraq, the head of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, questioned the U.S.-appointed Council's legitimacy. "If this Council was elected," complained Mr. Moussa, "it would have gained much power and credibility."
I love that quote. I love it, first of all, for its bold, gutsy, shameless, world-class hypocrisy. Mr. Moussa presides over an Arab League in which not one of the 22 member states has a leader elected in a free and fair election. On top of it, before the war, Mr. Moussa did all he could to shield Saddam Hussein from attack, although Saddam had never held a real election in his life. Yet, there was Mr. Moussa questioning the new U.S.-appointed Iraqi Council, which, even in its infant form, is already the most representative government Iraq has ever had.
But I also love Mr. Moussa's comment for its unintended revolutionary message: "power and credibility" come from governments that are freely "elected." If only that were the motto of the Arab League.
Read the whole thing. It's very good.