Arab World Still Hostile to Free Speech (Rep. Ron Klein)

President Bush’s recent visit to the Middle East was the longest of his presidency. For one week, the President followed up on the Annapolis meeting with Israeli and Arab leaders.

In the United Arab Emirates, President Bush chose to speak directly to the people of the Middle East, touching on themes of freedom and stability. He said, “…a future of liberty stands before you. It is your right. It is your dream. And it is your destiny. Bush’s speech, directed at the people of the Arab world, should have been directed at the Arab leaders that sat right before Bush’s podium.

The Arab world remains one of the most hostile places to journalists; journalists and bloggers are jailed for critiquing the government or criticizing Islam. Although some improvements have been made recently, according to a recent Freedom House survey of Middle East press, not one Arab state is listed is listed as having a “free