What's up with the world and it's leaders these days? First we have this idiot in the White House. I swear, every time I hear him speak, even the rare occasions when what he has to say is reasonable (like for instance a pledge to increase support to fight AIDS in developing countries) he sounds stupid, inarticulate. How in the world anyone could have voted for him, thinking him a leader, someone to be followed, emulated, I haven't the slightest idea. And his presidency has pushed the limits of consolidating power in the executive branch even more than Nixon's.
We have a rise of insanity across the globe. EU-Iranian talks regarding Iran's nuclear program have faltered. Putin is consolidating power, cracking down on opposition, and suppressing free press in Russia; Musharraf continues his farcical reign as president, having gutted the Pakistani Supreme Court which was standing to consider the validity of his election to the post he seized in a coup, meanwhile suppressing free press; Venezuela's Chavez is exceedingly close to pushing through constitutional reforms (with seductively populist changes like reducing the work day from eight hours to six!) which threaten to permit him unbridled power, and a repeal of presidential term limits, all the while suppressing free press.
You see the pattern? Is there any hope in this context of peace between the Israelis and Palestinians? Is there any chance that America will elect a true leader, who will have the wisdom, courage, and moral authority to inspire the world away from the growing push toward authoritarianism? I don't know. Wisdom, courage, and moral authority seem to be in exile. It's up to us to coax them back.