Still, this has so far been a year of heartening surprises - each one remarkable in itself, and taken together truly astonishing. The Bush administration is entitled to claim a healthy share of the credit for many of these advances. It boldly proclaimed the cause of Middle East democracy at a time when few in the West thought it had any realistic chance. And for all the negative consequences that flowed from the American invasion of Iraq, there could have been no democratic elections there this January if Saddam Hussein had still been in power.
The Opinion Journal(WSJ) has another interesting piece today:
By elevating the war on terror to a struggle over human liberty, President Bush has given us a larger moral reason to continue the fight. And he also is ensuring that we'll find natural allies in the people we are fighting to liberate--the very people who we need to stand against the radical Islamists in their midst. It's probably the only way we can win the war on terror. But it is also a policy that will take on its own momentum. If our peace is best secured through other people's democracy, than why not put boots on the ground the next time Haiti or Liberia needs help? Or in Darfur, Sudan, or even North Korea? Presently, this question can be deflected with a simple answer--our military is a little busy right now with Iraq and Afghanistan. But there will come a time when it will not be too busy, when the logic of today's rhetoric will be inescapable. At some point in the near future liberating countries and stopping mass graves from being filled will become an end in itself.
This mirrors a debate that has been on-going among some of us here at the Pentagon, just for fun, where we are considering if it is a good idea to be using trained killers and those who have the job of "killing people and breaking things" to hand out food and heal the injured. To go from firing an M-4 at RPG wielding 'towelheads' to being a compassionate listener to the father whose son may have just killed your buddy--that is not an easy job. Yet we ask 19 year olds to do it, and to do it with cameras on their every move. Is it a good idea? Do we have any other choice?