Mark Steyn is the world’s funniest, most provocative, most insightful–OK, best–columnist. This paragraph in Steyn’s latest struck me forcibly:
I prefer to speak of “liberty” or, as Bush says, “freedom”, or, as neither of us is quite bold enough to put it, capitalism – free market, property rights, law of contract, etc. That’s why Hong Kong is freer than Liberia, if less “democratic”. If I had six or seven centuries to work on things, I wouldn’t do it this way in Iraq or Afghanistan. But the “war on terror” is more accurately a race against time – to unwreck the Middle East before its toxins wreck South Asia, West Africa, and eventually Europe. The doom-mongers can mock Bush all they want. But they’re spending so much time doing so, they’ve left themselves woefully uninformed on some of the fascinating subtleties of Iraqi and Afghan politics that his Administration turns out to have been rather canny about.
A race against time, indeed, in which the dithering of the Europeans and the opportunism of the Democrats are unhelpful.