New York Times? Huh?

Tuesday, March 1st, 2005 10:39 pm by Neal

Occasionally, you read something that so broadsides you — something so surprising and unexpected — that you do a double-take, flabbergasted, and shake your head as if it didn’t happen. But, there it is, sitting on the Editorial page of today’s New York Times: “Mideast Climate Change”.

Whoa. This isn’t about Global Warming, at least not what the Times would normally mean by that term. No, this is about a warming of democratic movements throughout the Middle East catalyzed by the US action in Iraq leading to the January elections . Print out several copies of this editorial and with a brilliant yellow highliter, emblazon the words “The New York Times”. Share copies with anyone who complains about the war in Iraq. Let’s start with this passage:

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.

All true and astonishingly admitted. Not perfect, but hey, this is the Times! It gets better:

Yesterday, with protests continuing, the pro-Syrian cabinet resigned. Washington, in an unusual alliance with France, continues to press for full compliance with the Security Council’s demand for an early and complete Syrian withdrawal. That needs to happen promptly. Once Syria is gone, Hezbollah, which has engaged in international terrorism under Syrian protection, must either confine itself to peaceful political activity or be shut down.

Did you get that last sentence? “Hezbollah … must [be] peaceful or be shut down.” You go, Times! Rock on! I’m guessing if it comes to it, the Times won’t mind a few precision-guided bombs to help keep the process moving along.

The article even mentions Mubarak’s election concessions in Egypt and rightfully concludes that this alone won’t seriously threaten his grip on power. Also, did you know this? (thanks, Times)

“Egypt is the Arab world’s most populous country and one of its most politically influential. In more than five millenniums of recorded history, it has never seen a truly free and competitive election.”

Five thousand years is a long time, and we (me and my buddy the Times) think that it’s “time” for a change. Alas, this editorial is almost too good to be true, but, I must take issue with the last sentence,

“The wonder is less that a new political restlessness is finally visible, but that it took so long to break through the ice.”

“That it took so long to break through”? Are you kidding! “The wonder” is that Bush’s gamble in Iraq — create a catalyst for change in the heart of the Middle East* — is paying off despite the contant pessimism, criticism, desperate comparisons to Vietnam, and all the other negative reporting by MSM drones like the Times. Two months ago the world was going to end, and today it’s a wonder that democratic change “took so long.” The credit for this “wonder” belongs to Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield, Rice et al. who have remained confident, resolute and committed to completing the mission; no thanks to Monday morning quarterbacks like the Times or confused Democrats.

It wasn’t long ago that we were chided that this was “The wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time.” Think how differently the last two months may have been had Kerry won and delayed the Iraqi elections (too violent, you know) while setting a timetable for the troops to withdraw sometime this year. Would any of these middle-east “wonders” have happened? Thank you, American citizens, for preserving that scenario as just a bad dream.

(*For those who claim that this justification for the war is historical revisionism, I remind you of “An Autumn of War” by Victor Davis Hanson which Cheney read before the Iraqi war.)

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