Sunday, February 22, 2004

What does it mean to be a liberal neo-con? Is that what I am?

TheIraq editorial in the Sunday New York Times is confusing to me. I don't understand how bringing the United Nations into Iraq makes for more and better democracy. Nor do I understand, and I didn't understand it last year either, where Europe after all the violence it goes through year in and year out, gets off telling the United States how to run a candy store, much less a foreign policy. And yet that is what the New York Times has been saying for the last 18 months, and I am sure John Kerry would agree. I don't know how you win an election like that. I am even more doubtful of your ability to run a free world by running to the Europeans.

The United States cannot leave until the transition to democracy in Iraq is complete. Because Iraq exists in a world where people think that democracy equals direct elections, and it is hard to explain otherwise, it is going to take more than another 120 days to get the factions in Iraq to realize that there can be no direct elections. I hope it only takes another 120 weeks, but I would bet on 120 months, and it is possible that it will take 120 years.

The only reason to have favored this war is the belief that the administration would stay the course. If it never intended to stay the course, if it only intended to stir things up and leave before the next election, then you are left with Al Gore's analysis -- that the Bushies went to war only to divert attention away from the revolution to overthrow freedom here at home.