The World Gone Nuts or: How I Learned to Stop Ranting and Agree With the Guardian
This may seem painfully self-evident to many, but lots of Democrats in this country haven't figured it out yet. More from the Guardian [different article]:
This leaves opponents of the Iraq war in a tricky position, even if [Tony Blair] is not about to rub our faces in the fact. Not only did we set our face against a military adventure which seems, even if indirectly, to have triggered a series of potentially welcome side effects; we also stood against the wider world-view that George Bush represented. What should we say now?
First, we ought to admit that the dark cloud of the Iraq war may have carried a silver lining. We can still argue that the war was wrong-headed, illegal, deceitful and too costly of human lives - and that its most important gain, the removal of Saddam, could have been achieved by other means. But we should be big enough to concede that it could yet have at least one good outcome.
Second, we have to say that the call for freedom throughout the Arab and Muslim world is a sound and just one - even if it is a Bush slogan and arguably code for the installation of malleable regimes. Put starkly, we cannot let ourselves fall into the trap of opposing democracy in the Middle East simply because Bush and Blair are calling for it. Sometimes your enemy's enemy is not your friend.
By George, I think they've got it! As Jonah Goldberg keeps reminding us - we on the political right got far too much wrong about Iraq for any serious 'I told you so' talk. But the Cedar revolution seems to have validated the basic tenants of the Bush doctrine without forcing the opposition on the left to agree with the Iraq war or the man himself. All of us, except the insane absolutist fringes (cough)Democratic Underground(cough), can agree that we we're all wrong about certain aspects of the War on Terror and we all got a bit overheated with the rhetoric, but we all agree one the important stuff which is that bringing Democracy to the greater Middle East is both possible and desirable.
What is happening on the streets of Beirut is not a result of the invasion of Iraq, nor does it retrospectively justify that invasion. But it does, obviously, have something to do with American policy. The truth is that, starting with the shock of September 11 2001, Washington has groped its way, by a process of trial and error, to a strategic position which it is entirely possible for democrats in both Europe and the Arab world to engage with. A key part of that groping was the realisation in Iraq that, while the United States could win any war on its own, it could not win the subsequent peace; and that democracy would not come overnight, out of the barrel of a gun. If we Europeans do not stand for the long haul to democracy, by peaceful means, what do we stand for?