Iraq: a liberal cause
: Tom Friedman, bless him, finally comes out today and says what I’ve been saying for a long time:
The ouster of the tyrant Saddam Hussein was a liberal and humanitarian cause.
But liberals don’t know it.
…this war is the most important liberal, revolutionary U.S. democracy-building project since the Marshall Plan. The primary focus of U.S. forces in Iraq today is erecting a decent, legitimate, tolerant, pluralistic representative government from the ground up. I don’t know if we can pull this off. We got off to an unnecessarily bad start. But it is one of the noblest things this country has ever attempted abroad and it is a moral and strategic imperative that we give it our best shot….
On Iraq, there has to be more to the left than anti-Bushism….
For my money, the right liberal approach to Iraq is to say: We can do it better. Which is why the sign I most hungered to see in London was, “Thanks, Mr. Bush. We’ll take it from here.”
Try telling that to the liberals running for president.
: UPDATE: Jack Balkin, good liberal, agrees with Friedman that we must fix up Iraq but then he cops out, saying that Bush will not listen. Jack, when did that ever stop anyone from putting pressure on? That’s what we should be doing. Instead of continuing to carp, we should be demanding the best path to democracy in Iraq:
: Putting pressure on to have more troops, not fewer, to bring security to Iraq.
: Putting pressure on the U.N. to send more troops from more nations to show support for democracy in Iraq.
: Putting pressure on companies to be ready to invest in Iraq.
: Putting pressure on Arab nations to disavow the terrorism — yes, terrorism — that is targeting Iraqi civilians and not only military but also civilian workers from other countries.
Rather than just carping, liberals should be demanding that the president — but first, their presidential candidates — do more to grow democracy and civilization in Iraq and the Middle East.
There’s plenty we can do, Jack, plenty.