Monday, March 1, 2010

Vindication of the Bush Doctrine?

It would have been safer to wait after the March 7th election to post this, but caution has never been my strong suite. So here goes: It’s starting to become conceivable that all the blood and treasure we spent in Iraq hasn’t been in vain. That the Bush doctrine had some merit. That it is possible to create a multi-ethnic, multi-religions, multi-cultural democracy in the Arab world. Even Newsweek is starting to admit that.

I feel a “thrill going up my leg” when I watch Sunni and Shiite politicians jockey for positions, wheel and deal, and play hardball but with a commitment that a unified Iraq is that only way to go.

I’m not ready to concede that the cost-benefit analysis of the Iraq was has turned positive at this point. Nor should you take from this any encouragement to repeat this experiment in the future. It succeeded mostly because the Iraqis wanted it to succeed, full stop.

But the benefit side of the equation has clearly turned positive: Iraq and Lebanon, liberated by the Bush doctrine, might not turn the entire Arab world into western-style democracies overnight. But the seed has been planted and they now stand as a few small green shoot on a desert dune.

The Arab youth hasn’t the right to ask for anything more than to be given a chance to succeed.

America owes the Arab youth nothing more. It’s all paid up.

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