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The Therapy Sessions
Monday, February 02, 2004

How'd they get so stupid? They read their (state controlled) newspapers!

It's always fun to hear what the Arabs tell themselves in their media:

The Saudi Press: 'Bush Didn't Stop Beating the Drums of War;' 'The American People Itself Will be Scorched by It'

In an editorial titled "The American President, George Bush, Threatens the World with War!" the Saudi government daily 'Okaz wrote: "The American president George Bush ... did not stop beating the drums of war in his address! In contrast with his previous address ... in which he celebrated the decision to go to war against Afghanistan and announced the war on Iraq, in his last address the American president turned war into an open option and threatened additional wars if the American people elect him for another term...!

"With this strategy for marketing the option of war, President Bush seeks to evade the American people's demand for accountability regarding his reasons for launching his wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq. He went to war in Afghanistan and did not achieve the defeat of terror that he promised. He went to war in Iraq to get rid of the weapons of mass destruction... [but] although he succeeded in overcoming Saddam, he did not find the WMDs for which he went to war!

"The American president wants the American people to give him the power to go to war with no hesitation. What is important is for the American people to have a better option than the war strategy for which its president is calling - otherwise the American people itself will be scorched by the fire of war even before the American president burns the world with it."

The Syrians know the routine too:
The Syrian Press: 'Bush's So-Called Achievements Are Nothing But Mistakes, Errors, And Catastrophes'

In general, the official Syrian press ignored Bush's address, but on its front pages highlighted criticism that came in its wake, particularly Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's calling Bush's [foreign] policy "arrogant and inept."

In the Syrian government daily Teshreen, Bassam Radhwan wrote: "There is no doubt that President Bush's address constitutes an election campaign, by means of which he tried to emphasize the domestic and foreign 'achievements' of the Republican administration. All the criticism directed toward the address, [coming] primarily out of the U.S. itself, notes that what President Bush calls 'achievements' are nothing but the Republicans' mistakes, errors, and catastrophes... On the foreign policy level, the address began by [stating] that the 'mission' was not yet completed, primarily regarding the struggle against 'terror,' Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, and spreading 'democracy.'

It's good to see that Kerry is the Arab candidate. Good news for Bush.
Jordanian Press: 'Bush's Address: A Tragedy Not Only for Mankind, But For the Peoples of the Middle East'

Columnist Rakan Al-Majali wrote in the Jordanian government daily Al-Dustour: "The useful thing about Bush's address was that the Arabs will understand that the U.S. is not interested in solving the Palestinian problem, except according to the conditions set by Israel and according to the balance of power that aspires to impose facts in the field... We must also understand that the American call to establish democracy in the Arab homeland and Muslim world by way of dictates is nothing but an attempt to embarrass the regimes. Again, the positive thing in Bush's address was the clarity of his hostile approach to the region, its people, and its countries. Oh Allah the Savior... "

Our good friends the Egyptians - who recieve $2 billion a year in US foreign aid - are in the game too:
The Egyptian Press: 'President Bush has Ceased to Act with Logic and Common Sense'

In an article titled "A Big Disappointment" the editor of Egyptian daily Al-Akhbar, Jalal Daweidar, wrote: "The 'state of the union' speech of the U.S. President Bush is a big disappointment for the entire world in general and for the countries and peoples of the Middle East in particular. All the elements in the president's speech didn't go beyond the content of a broken record; talking about terror, the security of the U.S. and spreading democracy on the American way. These shining titles ignore the real reasons for the problems facing the U.S. and don't aim at serving the peoples concerned and their freedom. They assure that their fundamental aim is to serve the American interests which are in alliance with the Zionist interests and nothing more...

"It seems that President Bush, under the influence of the extreme right groups and the Zionist lobby has ceased to act with logic and common sense. He has ignored the enormous oppression that the Middle East peoples suffer from the American power for the benefit of Israel. In order to be able to find honest solution to the problem, it is necessary to admit without arrogance that this policy ... is the production line responsible for the birth to the enemies of the U.S. in the Middle East and the whole world...

Yes, a free press will do wonders for that region. It will allow Arab liberals and moderates to question the party line.

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