That being said, I'll still post random nonsense. Without further ado, here's today's reading which focuses on the Middle East:
- Playing with Dominoes (Slate) - Blog Chatter about the democracy happenings in Lebanon, Egypt, etc. Amazing stuff that's going on, but my only caution about this is that democracy is not simply the act of calling for elections. Democracy is an instituion which supports itself, it's not an event.
- Was George Bush Right About Freedom and Democracy? (Slate) - More to the point about what's going on in the Middle East right now. If I haven't been clear about this, I truly believe some of this can be tied to the Bush Admin's actions, but much of it was already in the works. Moreover, we can't yet be completely joyous at the turn of events. Specific to Lebanon, assuming a government truly representing the people arises, that means Hezbollah will be a major power broker. And as we know, Hezbollah still supports bombing in Israel.
- Something Stirs (The Economist) - And in case you thought I was just presenting a liberal or progressive point of view, here's basically the same angle from The Economist, which has generally been supportive of the Bush Admin.
In the end, I think this still comes down to Iran since that is whom the Bush Admin has been targetting. The focus since the murder of Lebanon's former PM has been on Syria, but Iran is still the country with the biggest influence in the region. Plus, the lack of democracy in these countries has supressed the in-fighting that would otherwise occur between various factions. We're seeing that in Iraq everyday. So while it's great and amazing that progress is being made, we're not homefree. The ultimate success here won't be known until quite a while from now and will require a very fine-tuned foreign policy play.