Shane - 3/20/2005 11:55 AM
It is becoming more and more obvious Bot is off his good drugs.
You might enjoy reading this.
By Karl Zinsmeister
In the Middle East, a New World
"It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq. I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world. The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it."
-Lebanese politician Walid Jumblatt, in the Washington Post
"A long-frozen political order seems to be cracking all over the Middle East.... This has so far been a year of heartening surprises--each one remarkable in itself, and taken together truly astonishing."
-New York Times editorial
"More-aggressive U.S. policies in the Middle East--from the invasion of Iraq to President Bush's rhetoric about fostering democracy--are mingling with local politics to jostle once-unquestioned realities in the region."
-Wall Street Journal news story
"As thousands of Arabs demonstrated for freedom and democracy...it was hard not to wonder whether the regional transformation that the Bush administration hoped would be touched off by its invasion of Iraq is beginning to happen.... Those who have declared the war an irretrievable catastrophe have been gloating for at least a year over the supposed puncturing of what they portray as President Bush's fanciful illusion that democracy would take root in Iraq and spread through the region.... Clearly the Arab autocrats don't regard the Bush dream of democratic dominoes as fanciful.... Less than two years after Saddam Hussein was deposed...Arabs are marching for freedom and shouting slogans against tyrants in the streets of Beirut and Cairo--and regimes that have endured for decades are visibly tottering. Those who claimed that U.S. intervention could never produce such events have reason to reconsider."
-Washington Post column by Jackson Diehl
The bandwagon is starting to fill--and thank goodness for that.
Those of us who spent much of 2003 and 2004 urging Americans not to give up on Iraq can attest that those two years were stained with many harsh attacks, much niggling criticism, and abundant disdain for America's aggressive efforts to reshape the dysfunctional governments of the Middle East into more humane and peaceful forms. From the very beginning, of course, the Bush administration's left-wing enemies in the U.S. and Europe were hysterically opposed to the push for Middle Eastern democracy. A significant number of right-wing pundits also proved themselves to be sunshine patriots of the worst sort--bailing out of the hard, dirty work of war and cultural transformation as soon as the predictable resistance arose.
But that's politics. In Washington, if you're looking for a brave and steadfast ally, you need to buy a dog. Fortunately our warriors battling away in Najaf and Samarra and Anbar province didn't surrender to the Beltway gloom that defeated most of our media and political elites.
Everyday Americans also proved sturdier than our chattering class. They stayed with the fight long enough for some hard facts to emerge. Now some very good news is obvious to all who have eyes: We are not facing a popular revolt in Iraq. Average Arabs are not on the side of terrorists and Islamic radicals. America's venture to defang the Middle East is neither the cynical and selfish oil grab that the lunatic Left have claimed, nor a dreamy and doomed Don Quixote crusade as some conservative grumps insisted.
So here, at last, come the soldiers of the "me too" brigade. Even the French have joined in. They're sending one man (yes, one) to help train Iraqi security forces. And he's welcome. Victory is magnanimous.
(more at http://www.taemag.com/issues/articleID.18481/article_detail.asp)