Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Prospect of a Glorious Issue or the Sad Choice of a Variety of Evils

Christopher Hitchens asks if this Arab Spring could have taken place without the liberation and defense of Iraq (tip to Weekly Standard):

Can anyone imagine how the Arab spring would have played out if a keystone Arab state, oil-rich and heavily armed with a track record of intervention in its neighbors' affairs and a history of all-out mass repression against its own civilians, were still the private property of a sadistic crime family? As it is, to have had Iraq on the other scale from the outset has been an unnoticed and unacknowledged benefit whose extent is impossible to compute. And the influence of Iraq on the Libyan equation has also been uniformly positive in ways that are likewise often overlooked.

Iraqis certainly seem to think that their example has been important.

I speculated several years ago that President George W. Bush could one day be known as George the Liberator in the Arab world.

Yet much depends on President Obama. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered. Much depends on whether the Arabs seize the moment and whether President Obama, who ran as the anti-Bush, bolsters these early, sometimes feeble grasps at the promise of freedom, in fulfillment of his actions to save the Libyan rebels from the depth of their winter.

By perseverance and fortitude, as we demonstrated in Iraq through dark years of bloodshed, we will have a say in whether Arabs have a glorious future or succumb instead to any of the numerous evils that could follow revolution.