Friday, March 04, 2005

Run That by me Again

Thomas Friedman begins an article in the New York Times with a statement that has me dumbfounded. Link.
The last couple of years have not been easy for anyone, myself included, who hoped that the Iraq war would produce a decent, democratizing outcome. And even in the wake of the remarkable Iraqi election, the toppling of the Lebanese cabinet and the reforms brewing in Egypt, it is too soon for anyone to declare victory.

How's that for moving the goalpost. His beloved presidents, Carter and Clinton, accomplished zip in the Muslim world. Under George W. Bush, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon, Egypt, and even to some extent Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have seen a move away from tyranny and in the direction of democracy, but we cannot "declare victory" because the entire Muslim World has not yet become a thriving democracy.

Everyone in this administration has been very careful not to "declare victory", not because there has not been an incredible victory, but because they value the progress more than they want the public relations. If they crow about specific accomplishments, rather than giving the local people the credit, that might create greater resistance to an "American imposed" solution.


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