Guardian: Perilously close to Bush

The Guardian comments on Barack Obama's Westminster Hall speech:

"[Obama] was... ambitious in his message: that America and Britain still had the ability to lead the world, not by force, but by example, drawing on the strength of our common patchwork heritage which showed people could be united by ideals.

"He rejected the false choice between our interests and our ideals, between stability and democracy. At times this address came perilously close to being George W Bush's freedom agenda without George W Bush. As Mr Obama rightly acknowledged, democracy could not be imposed. It was a route that each nation on its own had to travel.

"Translating that message into policy, a variety of paths could be pursued. Will Mr Obama's administration be quite as comfortable with free elections in Egypt and Tunisia, both of which he promised to help with aid, if the primary beneficiaries of that representative process are conservative Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood? Move over just a few more inches on the map and see whether the same logic and the same universal principle applies to the elections that Palestinians will hold next year - elections which, if they go ahead, will be contested by both Fatah and Hamas. No, here you get a different response - the Palestinians have "hard questions" to answer."


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