I think that the following article illustrates perfectly that Bush’s plan is working. Bed wetting, posie sniffing, liberals just can’t seem to grasp the idea of peace through strength.
Who on Earth wants to be known as the last foe of freedom?
Not Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who Thursday joined a chorus of leaders telling Syrian President Bashar Assad to end his nation’s three-decade occupation of Lebanon.
Not Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who abruptly announced plans to hold the first free, multiparty election in his country’s history.
Not President Mahmoud Abbas, whose path to Palestinian independence is now blocked less by Israel than by peace-averse militant groups such as Islamic Jihad and Hamas.
And certainly not the brave peoples of Afghanistan, of Georgia, of Ukraine, of Iraq, who have raised loud their voices for freedom, often at peril to their lives. Each day, new tremors signal populist demands in lands where freedom has not thrived. This is, then, one of those explosive moments when history is written not in books, but screaming headlines.
Now it is Lebanon’s turn, with citizens by the millions heralding a “cedar revolution.” Is it possible that Iran, with its repressive and unpopular mullahs, could be next? And in sclerotic Syria, who today would buy Assad futures?
That, of course, is the dilemma dictators face in these moments of tumult: When history lurches, where will it next land?
For that matter, why does it lurch? Why is this happening now?
The prophet pro tem of the world’s spreading freedom movement is Walid Jumblatt, the influential patriarch of Druze Muslims in Lebanon. He has long been a critic of the U.S. and Israel, but of late has been a thorn to the occupying Syrians. Since he spoke to a Washington Post columnist on Feb. 23, his assessment–heresy to many listeners–has resonated around the globe:
“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 three weeks ago, 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.”
On the same evening Jumblatt spoke, a hitherto unthinkable headline–it, too, continues to ripple around the world–erupted on the Web site of the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel: “Could George W. Bush be right?”
Beneath that radical thought, writer Claus Christian Malzahn likened Bush’s then pending visit to Germany to President Ronald Reagan standing before the Brandenburg Gate in 1987: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
In January, setting the tone of his second term, Bush had told reporters: “I believe democracy can take hold in parts of the world that have been condemned to tyranny. And I believe when democracies take hold, it leads to peace.”
The response in Der Spiegel: “Bush’s idea of a Middle Eastern democracy imported at the tip of a bayonet is, for [German liberals], the hysterical offspring of the American neo-cons. Even German conservatives find the idea that Arabic countries could transform themselves into enlightened democracies somewhat absurd. … Europeans today–just like the Europeans of 1987–cannot imagine that the world might change. … We Europeans always want to have the world from yesterday, whereas the Americans strive for the world of tomorrow.”
In a follow-up article posted Friday, Der Spiegel asked, “How quickly can the virus of democracy spread?”
That is the question for other despots as they contemplate the likely fate of Saddam Hussein. They’re trapped in their own spider holes. No longer can they survive solely by stoking public hatred of the Great Satan. As citizens who witness democracy in neighboring Iraq and upheaval in Lebanon ask, “Why not us?” the enemy of the tyrant becomes not so much the United States, but the aspirations of his own people.
No movement has only one catalyst: Palestinians, for example, needed to be free of Yasser Arafat before independence could emerge as an option. But Washington’s muscular diplomacy unarguably is playing a crucial role throughout the Mideast. For one repressive regime after another, the sight of American soldiers at long last enforcing United Nations resolutions–and bestowing democracy on a subjugated people–surely must concentrate the mind.
History written in headlines can reverse course just as fast. We are a long way from knowing whether the still unfinished liberation of Iraq helps transform a troubled region. But for the foes of freedom, the Mideast must feel like a suddenly smaller place.