May 16, 2003

HASSAN FATTAH reports in The New Republic that various terrorist groups want to turn Iraq into a new Beirut.

I’m sure they do, and the Bush Administration had better take this very seriously. On the other hand, it’s worth noting that (1) Beirut became the way it did because of the action of outside governments — notably Syria and Iran — who are now staring at U.S. troops in large numbers, and who had better worry that they’re playing into Wolfowitz’s hands by providing an excuse for more regime change; and (2) Is there any clearer evidence of the difference between us and them? Our vision of Iraq’s future: peaceful, free, and prosperous. The Islamofascists’ vision: Beirut. A peaceful, free, and prosperous Iraq is, in fact, their worst nightmare.

If the terrorists succeed in this goal, which I doubt (how many Iraqis really want to live in Beirut: Reloaded?), it will certainly mark a failure for the Bush Administration. But it will mark a far, far greater failure for Arab culture and politics.

For more bad news, from a credible source, read this piece by Jonathan Foreman. Is this stuff getting enough attention at the top? And if not, why not?

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