Saturday, February 12, 2005

Lewis on Iraq

The dean of Middle East historians, Bernard Lewis, has a new must-read Wall Street Journal piece on the impact of the Iraqi elections:

The cause of freedom has won a major battle, but it has not yet won the war. Democracy in Iraq and elsewhere in the region faces a double threat, on the one hand from ruthless and resolute enemies, on the other from fickle and hesitant friends. We must stay with the Iraqi democrats, even if their choice of rulers is not what some of us would have preferred. It is their country, and freedom -- a free election -- means that the choice is theirs.

But our role has been, and will for a while remain, crucial. In successive phases, we enabled the peoples of Axis-ruled Europe and Asia to create or restore democracy. More recently, we helped give the peoples of the former Soviet bloc the opportunity to do the same, and some are well on the way. Now it is time for the countries of the Middle East to join the Free World, and recover their rightful place in the forefront of civilization.

Iraq at the Forefront


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