What Sparked Bush's Democracy Speech?

When President Bush spoke last week about his vision of spreading democracy in the Middle East, it might have struck some as a canny effort to wrap his Iraq troubles in a fresh burst of soaring rhetoric. But the speech grew out of a trip in June to Aqaba, Jordan, where Bush met with then Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and Israel's Ariel Sharon. Speaking later to Republican congressional leaders, Bush "went off on a riff," says an official who was there, about the promise for democracy in the embattled region. California Representative Chris Cox issued an invitation on the spot...

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