Saturday, March 10, 2007

No One Noticed but Me (Exhibit 3 in a Series)

See also: Exhibit 2

and Exhibit 1.

In February 2002, more than a year before the invasion of Iraq, Norman Podhoretz wrote:

In a long article in Newsweek, Fareed Zakaria has contended that the way
“to save the Arab world” is for the United States to get over this “fear
of the worse alternative” that has prevented us from pressuring for
political and economic reforms:

We do not seek democracy in the Middle East—at least not yet. We seek
first what might be called the preconditions for democracy . . . the
rule of law, individual rights, private property, independent courts,
the separation of church and state. . . . We should not assume that what
took hundreds of years in the West can happen overnight in the Middle
East.

Well, yes—and fulfilling Zakaria’s agenda would be a tremendous leap
forward. But I have to take issue with the idea that democracy and
capitalism can grow only in a soil that has been cultivated for
centuries. After all, in the aftermath of World War II, the United
States managed in a few short years to transform both Nazi Germany and
imperial Japan into capitalist democracies. And thanks to our victory in
World War III, something similar seems to be happening on its own steam
in Central and Eastern Europe, and even in the old heartland of the evil
empire itself. Why should the Islamic world eternally remain an
exception?


That is all.

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