As he surveys events in the Middle East, TNR's Martin Peretz (subscriber-only) admits he got George Bush wrong. He's glad to admit it. Too many Democrats, he says, are wallowing in the politics of churlishness:

One does not have to admire a lot about George W. Bush to admire what he has so far wrought. One need only be a thoughtful American with an interest in proliferating liberalism around the world. And, if liberals are unwilling to proliferate liberalism, then conservatives will. Rarely has there been a sweeter irony.

The comparison between Iraq and Lebanon is worth pondering, especially in the little aside about how even the best reporters can be led astray:

What will probably happen in Iraq is a version of what endured for decades in Lebanon: a representative government rooted in sect--argumentative, perhaps even orrupt, but functioning. Lebanon was never perfect, but it worked reasonably well, until the aggressive Palestinian guests took to commanding Shia turf to establish a "state within a state." (This was a phenomenon that the nimble Thomas L. Friedman did not much report on in the first leg of his journey From Beirut to Jerusalem, confiding that fear for his life and livelihood kept him from deviating too far from the Palestinian story as they wanted it told. Eason Jordan avant la lettre.)

|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/04/in-rut-as-he-surveys-events-in-middle.html|||4/01/2005 10:19:00 am|||||||||