Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Thomas Friedman gets on board

If you ignore the gratuitous dig at Rummy, and the plug for Biden, Hillary and Lieberman (which I do not include in the following quotation), Thomas Friedman, over at the NY Times is right on the money in his Thursday column:

In the past week, I've received several e-mail notes from Democrats about the Iraq elections, or heard comments from various Democratic lawmakers - always along the following lines: 'Remember, Vietnam also had an election, and you recall how that ended.' Or, 'O.K., the election was nice, but none of it was worth $100 billion or 10,000 killed and wounded.' Or, 'You know, we've actually created more terrorists in Iraq - election or not.' I think there is much to criticize about how the war in Iraq has been conducted, and the outcome is still uncertain. But those who suggest that the Iraqi election is just beanbag, and that all we are doing is making the war on terrorism worse as a result of Iraq, are speaking nonsense. Here's the truth: There is no single action we could undertake anywhere in the world to reduce the threat of terrorism that would have a bigger impact today than a decent outcome in Iraq. It is that important. And precisely because it is so important, it should not be left to Donald Rumsfeld.
Friedman goes on to point out that the ripple effect of a truly effective democracy in Iraq (assuming it can be achieved) can change the landscape in the Middle East, including in Iran. Of course, this is what Bush has been saying all along and why I, a former Democrat, completely switched affiliations and world outlook. If you'd like to read an excellent book on why Bush went to war, and what he hoped to achieve, you really need to check out George Friedman's book, America's Secret War (and, yes, you can check over on my sidebar for more info about this book). Friedman contends that Bush really went to war to frighten the Saudi's, who are the real cradle of terrorism. This book was written last fall, but events have proven true both that the Saudis are the cradle of terrorism, and that the pressure of a huge U.S. presence next door to them has driven Saudi Arabia, ever so slowly, in the direction of democratic reforms. Now, I happen to believe that the elections have little meaning right now, but the mere fact that they happened demonstrates that U.S. pressure is paying off.