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May 6, 2004
Foreign Endorsements: Not Everyone Roots for Kerry

John Kerry got into hot water for telling a whopper earlier this year about foreign leaders who supposedly told him that he had to win this election so Bush would be out of the picture. Not only did he refuse to name any of these leaders, but he made an ass of himself by shouting down a voter who questioned him at a town-hall style meeting. Kerry continued to insist, when news organizations proved he hadn't had an opportunity to even be in the same city as a foreign leader for over a year, that one could meet up with foreign leaders in restaurants.

Well, now Bush has a public endorsement from a foreign leader, and it comes from a surprising source -- conservative, Islamic Pakistan:

[Pakistani Prime Minister] Zafarullah Khan Jamali's comment was a rare taking-of-sides by a world leader in another country's election, and one that is particularly unusual given the American president's low standing among Muslims angered over the war in Iraq, U.S. support for Israel and allegations that American servicemen abused Iraqi prisoners at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad. ...

He said the contest between Bush and Sen. John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic candidate, is a matter for the American people to decide, and that Pakistani-U.S. relations go beyond personalities.

But he added: "What the results of those elections are we must wait and see, though I would wish President Bush well, definitely."

This provides much more amusement than comfort. It's inappropriate for any foreign leader to endorse presidential candidates, Republican or Democrat, and the fact that Jamali makes these kinds of comments reflects on the lower commitment to democracy currently seen in Pakistan. True democrats respect the process in which the governed -- and only the governed -- make those choices. Besides, if Kerry won the election, a statement like this could cause mistrust and poorer relations between the two nations.

However, I find it telling that a conservative Muslim politician, especially from Pakistan, prefers George Bush over John Kerry, when Kerry has been running on his diplomatic skills and claiming that Bush has done nothing but alienate the rest of the world. It sounds to me that, contrary to leftist opinion here and in Europe, that some Muslim nations may be as sick and tired of terrorists running around Southwest Asia as we are, but without the US engaged in the area can do little about it.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 6, 2004 5:38 AM

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