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Friday, February 13, 2004

Clinton magic in Doha

from Martin Kramer's Sandbox
Did I mention that I was in Qatar three weeks ago, for the U.S.-Islamic World Forum? Well, I was. Ralph Peters, conservative commentator in the New York Post, perfectly described how Bill Clinton mesmerized and captivated his Muslim audience. "Clinton just may have been the only American who could have reached that unforgiving crowd," wrote Peters. "

After a weekend of complaining about all things American, that Middle Eastern audience rose to its feet with evangelical enthusiasm—after being told precisely what they did not want to hear by a Scripture-quoting former president." It was a tremendous performance, and I can testify to its effect on one man: Qazi Hussein Ahmed, leader of the Pakistani Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami.

After Clinton's speech, I found myself in an elevator with him (and his entourage). So how did you like the President's speech? I asked him. "Excellent!" he beamed. "Excellent!" Magical.

Tue, Feb 10 2004 3:51 pm
See also Clinton's Triumph, wherein Ralph Peters suggests "a good-cop, bad-cop approach in American foreign policy" -- with Clinton playing the good cop.

"It won't happen in an election year, of course," but can you imagine the effects of an orchestrated, synergistic Clinton and Bush duo? Hmmm...... does the President read the Post? I have to admit, it could be a very smart move. Like they always say, keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer.