As noted by many others, today’s must-read is David Ignatius’ WaPo column. The oft-quoted jaw-dropper:

“It’s strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq,” explains Jumblatt. “I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world.” Jumblatt says this spark of democratic revolt is spreading. “The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it.”

The speaker, Walid Jumlatt, was up until quite recently a major purveyor of anti-American Arabist conspiracy theorizing, which makes his current stance and statements all the more exhilirating. If we can reach people who used to say stuff like this, there’s more than hope: there’s fundamental progress.

I’m extremely encouraged by the non-sectarian nature of the Lebanese protests. These don’t strike me as the kind of people who’d look at Iran’s mullocracy and say, “Yep, we’d like to have that here.” Lebanon was at one time by far the most tolerant and pluralistic Arab nation on the planet, as well as the only Arab country with something like a functional democracy. If there are enough Lebanese left who remember those days, and want them back…


11 Responses to “Suddenly”

  1. Righting Wisconsin Says:

    Vodkapundit’s Must Read…

    damn it, when are these guys not right about a must read? Of course, they pull the money quote as well.

  2. Crank Says:

    Well, there’s every reason for the Lebanese to feel that they’ve had their fill of sectarian violence. And of Hezbollah and Shi’ite fanatics.

  3. jeff Says:

    If I had a time machine I think one of the top 10 places/times to go would be Beirut in the late 60’s.

  4. Stephen Green Says:

    That’s no joke, Jeff. My great-grandmother used to go to Beirut to gamble (she played cards, and usually won), all through the ’50s and ’60s.

  5. Mikey Says:

    Probably not a mullocracy. All the one’s who wanted that have probably already joined Hezbollah.

  6. Pursuit Says:

    As I commented over at my blog, I love how he compares the Syrian protests with the fall of the Berlin wall. The left was absent for the last 20 years of that struggle as well, preferring to embrace a policy of appeasement.

    Noting your post above about the intellectual wattage of both parties, I’d combine the two and ask what it is about the left that compels them to embrace a losing strategy with a grip that is inversely proportionate to how close victory is at hand.

  7. pouncer Says:

    “If there are enough Lebanese left who remember those days, and want them back…”

    A lot of such Lebanese live in the United States.

    Y’know, we’re liable to suffer a bit of a brain drain if all the Afghans and Persians and Lebanese and Nigerians and Ugandans and Cubans and Columbians etc etc who came here as refugees suddenly decide they want to “go home” .

    It’d be a lovely LOVELY problem to have.

  8. pouncer Says:

    Speaking of time/space machines — I want to go back and sail some summer along the Eastern Adriatic coast in that shining period between Tito and Molosevic..

  9. Says:

    Is Iraq The First Domino To Middle-East Peace?

    Great post over at Vodkapundit linking to an article in the Washington Post (registration required….). According to that article, Walid Jumblatt, the leader of the Lebanese inifada, and formerly very much opposed to the American invasion of Iraq, s…

  10. Flopping Aces Says:

    Freedom Ringing

    What’s interesting is that Democracy in the Middle East is looking pretty damn good at the moment. This is something the left said would never happen, and now that it looks like they were wrong again they have resorted to all kinds of childish behavi…

  11. Kill Righty Says:

    Democracy is contagious

    US and Jew-hating Lebanese resistance fighter Walid Jumblatt affirms that the Bush Doctrine is working in the Middle East, and that a new Arab world is beginning.

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