The new paradigm

The good news from the Middle East remains Topic A this weekend. At Time, Michael Duffy thinks that history has turned a corner in the Middle East, but adds, correctly, that “the democracy deal isn’t sealed.” At Newsweek, Fareed Zakaria acknowledges that President Bush “has been right on some big questions.” Zakaria belongs to the Tom Friedman school of analysis — agree with Bush’s key foreign policy decisions, sort of, but insist that Bush has merely stumbled into the correct decision and has implemented it incompetently. Zakaria’s latest piece is less grudging than that, although he does suggest that Bush’s apparently correct line on the Middle East is “related to his relative ignorance of the region.” Sigh.
The best piece I’ve seen on the subject comes, not surprisingly, from Reuel Marc Gerecht in the Weekly Standard. Gerecht begins by noting that “the issue is not whether the basic understanding of contemporary Muslim political legitimacy has been overturned — it has — but how forceful the regimes in place will resist the growing Muslim democratic ethnic. He then offers a country-by-country analysis of this question. Gerecht concludes by reminding us that January 30, 2005 is only the first paradigm-changing event to come from Iraq. There are more elections to follow and, of course, the trial of Saddam Hussein.
And speaking of paradigm shifts, Big Pharaoh notices that Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper has used the word terrorist to describe an attack on Iraqi civilians in Iraq, apparently for the first time. Via Instapundit.

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