January 3, 2005 Special Dispatch No. 839

Egyptian Government Daily on Time Magazine's Man of the Year - George W. Bush: 'Hitler was Also Man of the Year'

January 3, 2005
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 839

Following Time Magazine's choice of U.S. President George W. Bush as its 'Man of the Year,' the Egyptian government daily Al-Akhbar published an editorial titled "Bush, Hitler, and the Man of the Year." The following are excerpts from the editorial:[1]

"The U.S. Time Magazine's choice of the U.S. president, George Bush, as Man of the Year 2004 was a second blow to a world that has not yet recovered from the shock of his winning a second presidential term.

"While Washington is preparing for the celebration of Bush's [second] term, which will cost forty million dollars – a record sum in American history – Time Magazine has begun to list the reasons that led it to choose Bush as Man of the Year. [The reasons] are: his sticking to his guns (literally and figuratively), his shaping the rules of politics to fit his cowboy style, [and his] persuading a majority of voters that he deserved to be in the White House for another four years.

"The magazine's two editors described their meeting with Man of the Year Bush with him lounging in his favorite armchair in the White House Oval Office. They imagined that hawks[2] rather than doves were nesting in the Christmas tree after he had chosen over half his Cabinet secretaries from among the hawks.

"Bush was not at all troubled [by the fact] that according to the [Gallup] public opinion poll, he won the lowest popularity rating [ever] for a president who had been recently re-elected and was beginning his second presidential term. [Nor was he troubled by] the criticisms directed toward him, since he calmly said: 'Sometimes you're defined by your critics.' This sentence means that President Bush measures his progress by the enemies he makes. Therefore, it is not surprising that Bush says: 'My presidency is one that has drawn some fire, whether it be at home or around the world, but I am convinced that the decisions I made will make the world a better place [sic].'[3]

"The choice of some [other] people as 'People Who Mattered 2004' also came as a surprise, including Iyad Allawi, Iraq's [interim] prime minister, and Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan's first elected president.

"The real surprise was the choice of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the list, after he survived a corruption scandal and after the death of his arch-rival, the Palestinian president Yasser Arafat. The magazine raised the question whether the Israeli hawk will become a peacemaker once [the Palestinians] have elected a new Palestinian leadership.

"There is no doubt that the world was astonished by the choice of Bush, who, in the course of his first term, led the Americans into two wars. Only Allah knows what awaits them in his second term.

"In order for Bush, Sharon, and their like not to become intoxicated by their being considered People of the Year, we remind them both that Time Magazine chose Adolf Hitler as Man of the Year in 1939, the man who dragged the entire world into the greatest catastrophe of modern history."


[1]Al-Akhbar (Egypt), December 24, 2004. For the Time Magazine article, see

[2] Although the Time article reads "eagles rather than doves," Al-Akhbar uses the word suqur ("hawks").

[3] The quote "but I am convinced that the decisions I made will make the world a better place" does not actually appear in the Time Magazine article.

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