Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Clean-Up Woman

"We inherited a law enforcement mentality where you punished the crime after it happened, instead of trying to prevent the crime...

...We inherited,...the failed Camp David Accords, and as a result the Second Intifada. Yasser Arafat was in power, stealing people blind and working with terrorists,...

We inherited a Lebanon with Syrian forces there for 30 years. Now, Syrian forces are out. There is a democratic government in power -- yes, being challenged by Hezbollah -- but the prime minister has survived and they've elected a president. The Lebanese army is out in the country for the first time. And they are friendly to the United States.

...Saddam Hussein dragged the region into a war and lost over a million lives. It dragged the U.S. into war. He murdered his own people, terrorized his neighbors and sought weapons of mass destruction. Today? You have a multiethnic, multiconfessional democracy that isn't threatening its neighbors.

So, I just don't understand this argument that it is so much worse. I always say, 'as opposed to what?' Syrian forces in Lebanon and no democracy. Saddam Hussein in power, threatening his neighbors and us. The Taliban in Afghanistan. The Palestinians and Israelis in an open intifada. That was the better Middle East? And it wasn't as if politics wasn't going on -- it was just going on in radical mosques and the madrassas, whereas now it is going on in the open. And yes, once in a while the Hamases of the world will win, but frankly I'd rather have them out in electoral politics trying to explain how they will fix the sewer system than running the streets with their faces covered, being the glorious resistance.

Is it done? No. But we'd have never gotten on this different path without Iraq."


-- Condoleezza Rice, untying the rhetorical knots on real politiks that Democrats have used to bind American foreign policy - before she hands the mop and broom off to them, of course - in The Wall Street Journal.