There is a thought provoking editorial in today's Sunday Business
. As the third anniversary of the Iraq war passes, Bush's dream of planting democracy in the Middle East seems to have gone pear shaped. On the contrary, quite the opposite has happened, with much of the world as well as the middle east moving in the opposite direction:
- The Ukraine's orange revolution has turned sour. Yushenko, the candidate the West championed has become increasingly unpopular and could well end up losing the upcoming parliamentary election.
- As Putin tightens his grip over Russia and silences the opposition, the growing middle class seems happy to to turn a blind eye, and an increasing number of Russians look back nostalgically to the days of Stalin.
- The Palestinians have elected Hamas for their Government, a party committed to terrorism and the destruction of Israel.
The news however is not all bad. The Palestinians also chose to boot out a corrupt administration that embezzled funds and lived a life of luxury whilst everyone else lived in squalor. Having voted in Hamas, Palestinians will now face the consequences of their actions, and if they don't like Hamas, they will have a chance to vote again in a few years time (unless that is they decide to junk democracy before then).
And with regards to Iraq, it is simply to early to tell what the outcome will be. Iraq was always an artificial country. Once it ceased to be a dictatorship, it was always likely that the simmering ethnic and religious hatred bubbling beneath the surface would erupt onto the streets. We should have learnt that from Yugoslavia. Bush may have simply hastened the inevitable, the break up of Iraq.