Liberally Conservative

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free....... ~Ronald Reagan~

Friday, August 19, 2005

Indifferent To Democracy (Must Read)

As the U.S. stumbles in Iraq, many in the Arab world (but also in the American academic left and isolationist right) have solemnly, at times pleasurably, described the situation as fitting retribution for "neocolonialism." The debate on America's imperial calling, particularly in the Middle East, is surely absorbing; yet from an Arab perspective, particularly that of the region's liberals, far more essential than how a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq might smash the Bush administration's hubris is the misfortune it will visit on Arabs striving for change.
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How the U.S. adventure in Iraq ends is anybody's guess. However, its repercussions will be felt, first, by the Arabs themselves. By refusing to profit from the prospective democratic upheaval that Saddam's removal ushered in; by never looking beyond the American messenger in Iraq to the message itself; by lamenting external hegemony while doing nothing to render it pointless, Arabs merely affirmed their impotence. The self-pitying Arab reaction to the Iraq war showed the terrible sway of the status quo in the Middle East. An inability to marshal change for one's benefit is the stuff of captive minds.
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Read this engaging article by Michael Young on Why the Arab world roots for American failure in Iraq.

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