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Saturday, February 26, 2005

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Please tell me if you think....

....this would have happened if the US had not invaded Iraq and elections had not happened.
In a surprise and dramatic reversal, President Hosni Mubarak took a first significant step Saturday toward democratic reform in the world's most populous Arab country, ordering the constitution changed to allow presidential challengers on the ballot this fall.

An open election has long been a demand of the opposition but was repeatedly rejected by the ruling party, with Mubarak only last month dismissing calls for reform as "futile."

The sudden shift was the first sign from the key U.S. ally that it was ready to participate in the democratic evolution in the Middle East, particularly historic elections in Iraq and the Palestinian territories. Mubarak's government has faced increasingly vocal opposition at home and growing friction with the United States over the lack of reform.
There is a lot riding on the gamble that President Bush has taken. We cannot possibly know what the future will be, but all the recent indications in the Middle East are pointing in a direction that is very encouraging.