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Willisms

« Iraqi Sandstorm. | WILLisms.com | Until After May 10: Light Blogging. »

The Middle East: Two Great Reads.

First, Stephen Hayes, on Paul Wolfowitz, in The Weekly Standard:

"How do you feel about building a new Middle East?"

Next, Fawad Gergez, on Middle Eastern democracy, in the Yale Global:

Most Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East are fed up with their ruling autocrats, who had promised heaven but delivered dust and tyranny. These sentiments clearly show that there is nothing unique or intrinsic about Arab and Islamic culture that inhibits democratic governance. Like their counterparts elsewhere, Arabs and Muslims have struggled to free themselves from the shackles of political authoritarianism without much success, thanks partly to the support given by the West, particularly the United States, to powerful dictators....

There is no denying that there is fresh thinking in Washington regarding the need to support the aspirations of democratic voices in the area, as well as to keep a healthy distance from Arab dictators. Only time will tell if this appreciation gets institutionalized within the decision-making process, or whether US policymakers will ultimately revert to the simple business-as-usual approach with Arab dictators.

UPDATE:

How about another for good measure:

L. Paul Bremer, on Iraq's increasing chances of long-term success, and overcoming the lingering challenges from the Saddam Hussein regime:

Despite the amazing progress in Iraq in two short years, some armchair experts carp that we should have moved even faster. Frankly, it's hard to understand what they are thinking. Newly liberated Iraq was a traumatized place. For almost four decades under Saddam, Iraqis lived in a country where the rule of law had been replaced by the rule of one man and his cruel whimsy. Whenever a provision of Iraq's old constitution got in his way, he simply ignored it. Saddam admired Hitler's and Stalin's ability to control their societies. He modeled his Baath party on theirs and required his officials to read "Mein Kampf." The party permeated every nook of Iraqi life, and, like the Nazis, even recruited children to spy on parents and neighbors. Expressing political views could be fatal.

Posted by Will Franklin · 1 May 2005 02:39 PM

Comments

Wouldn't it be nice if our own government would stop the partisan gridlock and get it together like Iraq has been doing?

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at May 1, 2005 05:48 PM

The people of Iraq have lived under the dictatorship of Saddams sick discusting rule and now they are ready for freedom and Democracy!...

Posted by: Liam at May 1, 2005 08:30 PM

'Frankly, it's hard to understand what they are thinking.'

Actually it's easy to understand what they were thinking. 'We hate America, America sucks and no matter what happens now nothing will ever change that'.

Posted by: Jack T at May 2, 2005 09:47 AM

My husband and I know an Iraqi man who tells us that he appreciates what America is doing for Iraq! He lives in Houston but his family still live in Iraq. He goes back frequently to see his family. I asked him alot of questions! He said he and his family feel safer in Iraq today than when Sadaam was ruling. We all hear so much of what the anti iraq people want us to believe. It sure sounds different coming from an actual Iraqi! ...I asked him if he thought we should leave now. He said without a doubt NO!...He said the weapons of mass destruction were basically Sadaam and his gang!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at May 3, 2005 09:16 AM