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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Bush reveloution

Michael Ledeen on NRO has written a great article regarding the sweeping wave of refroms in the Middle-east that got started by G.W. Bush's policies. Here are the money shots: In like manner, the defeats of the fanatics in Afghanistan and Iraq, followed by free elections in both countries, destroyed two myths: of the inevitability of tyranny in the Muslim world, and of the divinely guaranteed success of the jihad. Once those myths were shattered, others in the region lost their fear of the tyrants, and they are now risking a direct challenge. The Cedar Revolution in Beirut has now toppled Syria's puppets in Lebanon, and I will be surprised and disappointed if we do not start hearing from democratic revolutionaries inside Syria — echoed from their counterparts in Iran — in the near future. Many of the brave people in the suddenly democratic Arab streets are inspired by America, and by George W. Bush himself. It should go without saying that we must support them all, in as many ways as we can. Most of that support will be political — from unwavering support by all our top officials, to support for radio and television stations, and tens of thousands of bloggers, who can provide accurate information about the real state of affairs within the Middle Eastern tyrannies, to financial assistance to workers so that they can go on strike — but some might be military, such as hitting terror camps where the mass murderers of the region are trained. We are, after all, waging war against the terrorists and their masters, as is proven by the daily carnage in Iraq and Israel, and the relentless oppression and murder of democrats in Iran. The president clearly understands this, but, in one of the most frustrating paradoxes of the moment, this vision is rather more popular among the peoples of the Middle East than among some of our top policymakers. For anyone to suggest to this president at this dramatic moment, that he should offer a reward to Iran for promising not to build atomic bombs, or that we should seek a diplomatic "solution" to Syria's oft-demonstrated role in the terror war against our friends and our soldiers, is a betrayal of his vision and of the Iranian, Israeli, Lebanese and Syrian people. Yet that sort of reactionary thinking is surprisingly widespread, from leading members of congressional committees, from the failed "experts" at State and CIA, and even some on the staff of the National Security Council. The man is right, no?

6 Comments:

At 3/03/2005 04:44:00 AM, Blogger Louise said...

You know Sandmonkey, this movement really started way back in 1980 in the shipyards of Gdansk and a movement called Solidarnosc. It's been on a roll ever since.

The Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and a multitude of other real peoples' movements have led to the downfall of what must be getting close to dozens of totalitarians regimes by now, and it's no surprise to me that so many of the former Soviet Bloc countries are part of the coalition.

What we saw in Lebanon over the past several days is just the latest domino. The Iraq war certainly helped it along, but this train isn't going to stop any time soon.

If my hunch is correct, Egypt has been read the riot act and has complied with the orders. Syria is surrounded and before long they'll be coming out with their hands up.

And blessed be, we're not only witnessing the end of totalitarian regimes. We're also witnessing the end of the "useful fool" in the West. Indeed, they are looking very, very foolish at the moment.

The rise of the only competing ideological phenomenon has been nipped in the bud. It wouldn't surprise me if we see a bigger thaw in China and revival of people power in Russia. Lord knows, they should understand by now that totalitarianism gets you nowhere.


Damn, I wish I was younger. I grew up under the pale of the Cold War and I understand the immobilization and tension that that caused. I'd love to see how this unfolds in the next 50 years.

Ya, I know. I'm all starry-eyed and naive, but there's a feeling in the air around me, sweetheart. The future is yours.

 
At 3/03/2005 05:22:00 AM, Blogger Louise said...

Oops. Should have read Ledeen's article first. I guess I'm actually rewording a portion of his article. Good one, BTW. I agree with him 100%.

 
At 3/03/2005 03:52:00 PM, Blogger Tina said...

Louise: That train is dependent on a really strong leader being in the Whitehouse. Remember that the train reached a dead stop during the Clinton years and didn't get rolling agin until GWB gave it a push.

It would be going a lot faster if it wasn't for the lack of courage of the european leaders.

 
At 3/03/2005 05:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto what Louise said.

You have kids, Louise? They'll most likely be here to see it. Take heart.

Bridget

 
At 3/05/2005 05:20:00 AM, Blogger Louise said...

Maybe Bridget, but you know when Lech Walesa led his union to strike against the communists government in Poland way back in 1980, my daughter was only one year old and my son was two and a half.

By the time they became old enough to be aware of global affairs, that and the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the disintergration of the Soviet Union were already ancient (in their eyes) history.

In fact, my daughter, who will be 26 next week, disagrees with my take on the Iraq war, and that's only because she is listening to others her own age and you know what young people are like. They haven't got the long term perspective, but they think they know everything ;) .

So, I don't know if they will really understand what a great change took place in the 25 years or so, during which they were growing up. And if they don't understand that, they they may not be so in awe about what appears to be coming next.

For my part, I've developed a new curiosity about the 1930s and 40s. I'd like to learn more about the era when my parents were young and understand in more detail what living through the Depression and WWII was like. My mother was 15 years old when the stock markets crashed, and she had three brothers in WWII. She was afraid to spend a dime and could never throw anything away. She was paranoid that she would be poor again and never wanted to take a risk on anything.

I don't think you can ever learn what historical periods were like just by reading up on it. Living through it is the only way you can really understand it.

 
At 3/06/2005 02:36:00 PM, Blogger Kat said...

Louise,

I think that young people today who lived in the Clinton era as teenagers, probably don't understand because they have no concept of what communist Russia and brinkmanship was really about.

They cannot comprehend what it was like to do desk drills where you ducked and put your head down and your arms over it as if it would protect you. They did not have to watch those films of nuclear blasts and what it would do.

I remember that film that came out about a nuclear winter. In essence, it was an anti-nuke film. Today, I would like young people to see it to understand why we don't want anyone else to have them.

But, I digress. In the 90's, there was Bosnia and such, but you know they really didn't show that much on TV about the starving people or the mass graves. We're all too sensitive for that. Not like what they did during and after WWII where they decided that they would show the pictures in theaters as part of the news reels so everyone would know what had happened.

We can see people, cars, etc blown to hell, bloody slashing films, but no one wants to show you the real thing. Is that ironic?

They should have shown pictures of Saddam's mass graves over and over. The torture chambers. The pictures of the gassed.

In our effort to protect, we have foregone the truth. fore going the truth, we are ill prepared to accept what my grandparents knew. There are terrible things in this world. terrible people. they have and will do terrible things to the less fortunate and less capable of protecting themselves.

Instead what children of the 90s remember is that it was a time of extra ordinary interconnectivity. We saw many commercials back then (and even now) about other countries other cultures. We saw them as us. we forgot that many weren't. We didn't see beneath the veneer of sophistication and civilization that there could be something wrong underneath.

We wanted them to be this way. We wanted them to believe in the bright future of a global community. This is what we wanted. This is what we created.

someday, they WILL be the future, but today, it is for us to prepare it for them.

 

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