By Bennis, Phyllis
".....He went on to say that the U.S. "would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election" and that "we will welcome all elected, peaceful governments - provided they govern with respect for all their people." Good positions - but ones that ignore the reality of continuing U.S. positions in the Arab world in particular. Certainly the January 2006 Palestinian election - deemed "free and fair" by U.S. and European monitors - that brought Hamas to majority power in the elected parliament was not "welcomed" by the United States. And just in recent days, Vice-President Joe Biden told Lebanon directly that future U.S. support would depend on the outcome of their forthcoming election - an unmistakable reference to U.S. intentions of cutting aid if Hezbollah, already the second-largest party in Lebanon's parliament, achieves greater elected power. (In this, the Obama administration is channeling President George H.W. Bush's position in 1990 regarding Nicaragua - telling the population that if they voted for the Sandinistas they would face years of continuing war, while a victory for the U.S.-backed opposition would lead to new economic assistance. The popular Sandinistas were roundly defeated.)"