DEMOCRACY PROMOTION….Speaking of “getting serious,” Noam Scheiber points us toward the president’s recent comments about Pakistani strongman and noted democracy promoter Pervez Musharraf:

Some believe that the only solution for government in parts of the world is for there to be tyranny or despotism. I don’t believe that. The Pakistan people have proven that those cynics are wrong. And where President Musharraf can help in world peace is to help remind people what is possible. And the solution in the Middle East is for there to be a world effort to help the Palestinians develop a state that is truly free–one that’s got an independent judiciary, one that’s got a civil society, one that’s got the capacity to fight off the terrorists, one that allows for dissent, one in which people can vote. And President Musharraf can play a big role in helping achieve that objective.

If conservatives wonder why liberals laugh at the notion that George Bush is genuinely interested in spreading freedom and democracy in the Islamic world, this is why. If we have to deal with these guys, then we have to deal with them. That’s life. But could we at least refrain from pretending that Musharraf is one of the century’s great lovers of democracy?

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