Steyn is back with avengence
It is amusing that Mr. Steyn begins his opinion with a slight at other journalists, refering to their Iraq coverage as "generic boilerplate" due to the way in which they, according to him, describe the scene as a "Vietnam quagmire". Putting aside whether his observation is actually true or not (although it would be very difficult to prove it was, by looking at the majority, if not every national newspaper), Mr. Steyn makes the mistake of criticising his colleagues of the very thing he is about to undertake.
While the "raven-tressed Beirut babes demonstrating in Lebanon" (someone may need to inform Mr. Steyn that Lebanon and Iraq are different countries, therefore the "raven-tressed" beauty really cannot effect the "quagmire" in Iraq) call for Syrian troops to withdraw from their military presence Mr. Bush makes his view known "We want democracy to survive...We know that democracy cannot survive while [Lebabnon is] occupied by a foreign force."
Logic could usefully be employed here to justifably conclude that democracy can only prevail in countries that are not occupied by a foreign force, this however is not put together by the "littlegr**nfootball" reading Steyn.
Then follows some typical Steyn fair such as "Over at the Guardian, meanwhile, the poor chaps are desperately trying to give credit to anyone but the reviled Bushitler. Here's how Timothy Garton Ash opened his disquisition: "Has Osama bin Laden started a revolution in the Middle East?" Well, that's one way to look at it. Maybe he could share the Nobel Peace Prize with Michael Moore." Where he uses his favoured technique of convincing, via firstly using ridicule, secondly imploying suspect reasoning and thirdly using the same logic he used to ridicule the opening sentence, in order to make the "best" case possible.
Followed by some light hearted rubbish:
"Jacques Chirac, every dictator's best friend."
And then the case for war is repackaged (convienently):
"Those of us who argued three years ago that Iraq was the place to start the dominoes falling and that the Middle East was ripe for liberty..."
["The primary goal is to make it clear to Saddam that we expect him to be a peaceful neighbour in the region and we expect him not to develop weapons of mass destruction. And if we find him doing so, there will be a consequence."—U.S. President George W. Bush at his first White House news conference; Feb. 22, 2001]
He then begins to re-write history:
"For three decades, radical Islamism prospered because there was no other big idea to counter it."
No foreign investment, training or support?
Whether The New York Times changes their stance on president Bush's motives/actions is beside the point. Since Mr. Steyn harps on about democracy so effortlessly, it may be an apt point to see what the democratic citizens of the west are thinking:
The War in Iraq receives some of its lowest levels of support yet in the poll, with two-in-five (39%) likely voters saying the war has been worth the cost, in terms of lives lost.
[54% say "not worth it"] (1)
[United States] "A slight majority, 53 percent, disagree with President Bush's plan to spread democracy to other countries, while just over four in 10, 45 percent, agree." (2)
[Spain] "By a 2-1 margin, Spaniards say they do not think the United States should be trying to spread democracy and end tyranny."
[South Korea] "South Koreans say by a 2-1 margin that they do not think the United States should be trying to spread democracy."
[Italy] "Just over half of Italians, 53 percent, say the United States should not be in the business of spreading democracy around the world."
[Britain] "Two-thirds in Britain don't think the United States should take the role of spreading democracy."
Does this have any bearing on the situation?
Time for Irish lefties to admit George Bush was right
Opinion: Come on, lads. You don't want to be the last to leap aboard the bandwagon. The Bush disparagers at the New York Times are running front-page stories with headlines such as "Unexpected Whiff Of Freedom Proves Bracing For The Middle East".
Daniel Schorr, the dean of conventional wisdom at America's National Public Radio, concluded his most recent editorial with a strange combination of words that had never before passed his lips in that particular order: "Bush may have had it right."
Did he simply muff the reading? Did he mean to say: "Bush may have had it - right?" But apparently not. Even America's media naysayers have suddenly noticed that they can hardly hear their own generic boilerplate about what a Vietnam quagmire the new Iraq is over the sound of raven-tressed Beirut babes demonstrating in Lebanon's newly named Freedom Square.
Over at the Guardian, meanwhile, the poor chaps are desperately trying to give credit to anyone but the reviled Bushitler. Here's how Timothy Garton Ash opened his disquisition: "Has Osama bin Laden started a revolution in the Middle East?" Well, that's one way to look at it. Maybe he could share the Nobel Peace Prize with Michael Moore.
In truth, even the most laggardly Irish leftie doesn't have to worry about being last on the bandwagon. That honour seems likely to rest with my own prime minister, Canada's Paul Martin.
The other day he was asked about the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon and replied thus: "It's clear if the Syrians are in Lebanon, it's because peace has to be maintained."
For crying out loud, man! Even the Saudis have told Boy Assad to get with the programme and pull his troops out. Even Jacques Chirac, every dictator's best friend. But poor pitiful Canada can't see a rendezvous with history without taking a rain check. In 2003 Martin's predecessor Jean Chretien insisted that his government was not in favour of regime change in Iraq - even after the regime had changed.
Now the torrents of Arabia cascade on, from Baghdad to Beirut, Cairo, Riyadh and beyond. Those of us who argued three years ago that Iraq was the place to start the dominoes falling and that the Middle East was ripe for liberty, for one man, one gloat - whoops, sorry, vote.
Anyway, those of us who told you so way back when, long ago gave up trying to figure out why the likes of Martin and the European sophisticates were so wedded to "stability" uber alles.