Map Courtesy of FOX News
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (TDB) -- The highest-ranking Republican in the U.S. House apparently doesn't understand that Israel -- the closest ally of the United States in the Middle East -- is a democracy. Either that, or the House GOP leader is so remarkably blind in his support for President Bush that he would stretch the truth and go out of his way to snub a friendly nation. Matt Hurley at the conservative Ohio blog Weapons of Mass Discussion has John Boehner's statement on the 5th anniversary of the Iraq War, which he reprints. Hurley doesn't note Boehner's slip into ignorance that praises the war as paving the way "for the first democracy in a part of the world that needs it most."
Ooops. Israel has been around since 1948, electing governments and prime ministers and parliamentarians who serve in the Knesset. It is a multi-party state. There is a segment of the world that does not consider Israel the first democracy in the Middle East, but they tend to be islamists, militants, or supporters of the Palestinian movement that someday hopes to drive the Jews in Israel into the sea. Boehner surely must not have meant to side with the islamists by slighting Israel's nearly 60 years as a democracy. Or did he distort the truth hoping to confuse Americans, who may not know the region's geography? Israel shares borders with Jordan, which is becoming a constitutional monarchy; Lebanon, which is struggling to regain some footing as a democracy; Egypt, which is a republic but has an authoritarian government, and Syria, which is considered a Baathist dictatorship. Turkey is in the region, too, and is considered a Middle Eastern a democracy. Tukey border Iraq, Boehner's "first democracy." And some of the Persian Gulf states are moving toward democracy.
The complete text of Boehner's statement on the war's 5th anniversary is here. His error about Israel appears in the first paragraph:
"In the five years that have passed since the start of this conflict, our men and women in uniform have heroically ousted a terrorist dictator, freed a nation, and planted the seeds for political reconciliation that will pave the way for the first democracy in a part of the world that needs it most. Today, after countless obstacles to our success over the past five years, Iraq's fledgling democracy is at long last taking important steps toward the ultimate goal of self-rule."