Avert Your Eyes, John Murtha! It's More Good News From Iraq!
Once more, a handful of "discomforting" facts from Iraq, courtesy of Michael Rubin, editor of The Middle East Quarterly:
Success is evident: Iraqis can choose from dozens of television and radio channels, and scores of newspapers. Elections, political debate, and compromise are the norm. When chaos reigns, refugees flee. Why then have more than a million Iraqis returned to their country since liberation? Insurgency and terrorism are tragic. They were once to be found in Peru and Turkey as well. There, we did not undermine democracy with calls to strike deals with terrorists. Too many critics of President Bush treat Iraq as an excuse to grind political axes which have little or anything to do with Iraq. This is unfair to Iraqis.
Three years on, it is clear that success is not limited to Iraq. In 2005, Syria witnessed its two freest elections in a half century. How ironic, then, that only expatriate Iraqis could participate. While Arab regimes once sought to channel public anger to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Arab intellectuals and activists now debate dissent, reform, and democracy.
By the way, unlike Congressman Murtha and Sen. Kennedy, Rubin has spent 20 months actually in Iraq. Most of them outside the Green Zone.