Add the voice of veteran Middle East reporter Youssef Ibrahim — a major supporter of the administration’s democracy project — to those dismayed by the appearance of the new Iraqi prime minister in Washington last week (a topic that sparked some spirited debate in the Corner last week). Ibrahim writes in today’s New York Sun:
After his 2004 re-election, President Bush promised that America would stand behind the Arab world’s pursuit of freedom and democracy, but he has retreated from this policy into nevernever land.
The sight of the American president standing next to Iraq’s militant pro-Iranian Shiite prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, inside the White House last week was the depth of depravity in politics.
Nothing symbolizes a bargain with the devil more than those images, which shall live in infamy.
The prime minister of Iraq, the country we liberated from dictatorship, is nothing more than an Iranian Muslim fundamentalist agent. To honor a reactionary fundamentalist in the halls of Congress is to dishonor the great American enterprise to liberate the Arab world from reactionary fundamentalism.
Mr. Bush, have you lost your way?