The Middle East Infection

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005 8:38 pm by Neal

An infection — the possibility of freedom and self-government — is sweeping through the oppressed countries of the Middle East, and the MSM has caught it. Everyone is talking about this story, most especially the doubters and cynics who now speak in glowing terms tottering between astonishment and confounded disbelief. Bill Kristol documents three such conversions in an outstanding article, After 1/30/05 . The piece examines three testimonials, “one from the Old Middle East, one from Old Europe, the third from Old New York.”

They’re all worth reading, but the representative of “Old Europe” — Claus Christian Malzahn of Der Spiegel — wrote something that struck a particular chord in me:

But . . . Bush’s idea of a Middle Eastern democracy imported at the tip of a bayonet is, for Schröder’s Social Democratic party and his coalition partner the Green party, the hysterical offspring of the American neocons. Even German conservatives find the idea that Arab countries could transform themselves into enlightened democracies somewhat absurd. . . .

Europeans today–just like the Europeans of 1987–cannot imagine that the world might change. Maybe we don’t want the world to change, because change can, of course, be dangerous. But in a country of immigrants like the United States, one actually pushes for change. In Mainz today, the stagnant Europeans came face to face with the dynamic Americans. We Europeans always want to have the world from yesterday, whereas the Americans strive for the world of tomorrow. . . .

He says much more. Definitely worth the read.

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