Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Holy Moses

Several weeks ago David Brooks and other espousers of the mighty swift sword approach to foreign relations—having added up a series of presumed democratically driven events in the Middle East—began to cluck like a bunch of anti-Chicken Littles “The sky is lifting! The sky is lifting!”

Events continue, and by now the euphoria has spread across the land and shaken to the very grassy roots legions of dissenters from John Q. to John Stewart. “Could he be right?” is the phrase teetering at the tip of millions of tongues today.

Now, already there are lessons to be learned here. The right might learn that quite unlike them the left is willing to come around to at least grudgingly recognize a successful policy of their adversary. The left might learn that their conviction might be worn a bit too loosely if a potential success by President Bush in this one sphere has them tossing up their hands and/or lunches.

The less aligned might learn both things.

Moving on, just how does fare the “March of Freedom”? In Afghanistan we have had elections in Kabul to govern Kabul. The rest of the country is run by drug warlords, and in fact has grown into by far the worst illegal drug farm in the world, since 9/11. In 2004 the production of poppy in Afghanistan tripled 2003 figures under W’s watch.

In Iraq the election was at least more widespread. Elected representatives sat down, looked at each other and realized they didn’t have a freaking clue how they were going to govern three sects that have been fighting each other for hundreds and hundreds of years. Then they went home.

In Israel/Palestine/The West Bank or whatever we have a new wall that Californians could only dream about.

So, let’s point to Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon (maybe) and more open elections in Egypt (maybe). Now we’re cookin’. We’re gonna ride this freedom train across the Holy Lands and right on up to the gates of the family Saud and demand the end to monarchial control of oil assets and….hey, wait a minute.

It’s all enough to keep one’s attention, isn’t it? “Could he be right?”

Sure…right to the bank.


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