The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Friday, March 04, 2005

              Revolution and Its Detractors
In the past few weeks there has been a definite move in the Middle East towards democracy. The responses in the West have varied - conservatives who advocated the liberation of Iraq as a first step in this process feel vindicated by what has so transpired so far and hopeful that it will continue, especially with the liberation of Lebanon and the fall of the Assad regime. This optimism, however, is not a blind optimism but a cautious one, as most still realize that lots can go wrong and that the process of democratization is a long and messy one.

Alternatively, the opposition - the left and the "realpolitik" right - has two explanations of the events and prescriptions for what should be done going forward. These explanations and prescriptions are decidedly retrograde. Krauthammer shows the thinking of the "realpolitik" group.
Revolution is in the air. What to do? We are already hearing voices for restraint about liberating Lebanon. Flynt Leverett, your usual Middle East expert, took to the New York Times to oppose the immediate end of Syria's occupation of Lebanon. Instead, we should be trying to "engage and empower" the tyranny in Damascus.

These people never learn. Here we are on the threshold of what Arabs in the region are calling the fall of their own Berlin Wall and our "realists" want us to go back to making deals with dictators. It would be not just a blunder but a tragedy. It would betray our principles. And it would betray the people in Lebanon who have been encouraged by those principles.
While the Left's prescriptions for the future are similar to the "realpolitik" crowd, adding only that now we need Europe (because they were so helpful up to now?) their explanation for the events that have transpired are simply intellectually dishonest. Their view can be seen on all the Left blogs and is perfectly described by Mark Steyn.
The other day in the Guardian Martin Kettle wrote: "The war was a reckless, provocative, dangerous, lawless piece of unilateral arrogance. But it has nevertheless brought forth a desirable outcome which would not have been achieved at all, or so quickly, by the means that the critics advocated, right though they were in most respects."

Very big of you, pal. And I guess that's as close to a mea culpa as we’re going to get: even though Bush got everything wrong, it turned out right. Funny how that happens, isn't it? In a few years’ time, they'll have it down pat - just like they have with Eastern Europe. Oh, the Soviet bloc [the Middle East thugocracies] was bound to collapse anyway. Nothing to do with that simpleton Ronnie Raygun [Chimpy Bushitler]. In fact, all Raygun [Chimpy] did was delay the inevitable with his ridiculous arms build-up [illegal unprovoked Halliburton oil-grab], as many of us argued at the time: see my 1984 column 'Yuri Andropov, The Young, Smart, Sexy New Face Of Soviet Communism' [see the April 2004 Spectator column 'Things Were Better Under Saddam: The coalition has destroyed Baathism, says Rod Liddle, and with it all hopes of the emergence of secular democracy' - and yes, that really ran in these pages, on 17 April, not 1 April.]
Once again proving that today's Left is completely bereft of any ideas.
|| Nudnik 11:46 AM
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