David Brooks today:
Policy makers are again considering fundamental changes in our Iraq policy, but as they do I hope they read Elie Kedourie's essay, "The Kingdom of Iraq: A Retrospect."
Kedourie, a Baghdad-born Jew, published the essay in 1970. It's a history of the regime the British helped establish over 80 years ago, but it captures an idea that is truer now than ever: Disorder is endemic to Iraq. Today's crisis is not three years old. It's worse now, but the crisis is perpetual. This is a bomb of a nation....
David Brooks, April 17, 2004:
...Every time they get a chance to vote, Iraqi citizens show they are ready for democracy.... In almost every case, the parties that do best are professional and practical, emphasizing the people's concrete needs.
... Once the political process moves ahead, nationalism will work in our favor, as Iraqis seek to become the leading reformers in the Arab world.
We hawks were wrong about many things. But in opening up the possibility for a slow trudge toward democracy, we were still right about the big thing.