The Bush Doctrine: a different kind of tsunami
The recent fall of the pro-Syrian, anti-Israel government in Lebanon is the latest of repressive regimes to fall victim to the Bush Doctrine. So, letís review what has happened since the U.S.unleashed General Tommy Franks and our valiant sons and daughters on Afghanistan and Iraq:
The Taliban were kicked out of Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden is hiding in caves. Now, Afghan women can vote, can go to school, can move about without male escorts and can lend their energies to an improving Afghan economy.
A higher percentage of Iraqis voted in Iraqís first-ever, free election than vote in U.S. elections. Despite bombs, gunmen and suicide bombers trying to stop them, they struggled to the polls in droves. Even the reluctant Sunnis jumped on board when they saw the democracy train leaving the station. The U.N. oil-for-food scandal is over, and the Iraqi people are increasingly receiving their rightful oil revenues Ė for food, not for Saddamís palaces.
In Libya, strongman Colonel Muammar Kaddafi saw the democracy tsunami coming. So, he renounced his WMD programs, and is begging to be let back into the community of civilized nations.
Shed of the terrorist Yassir Arafat, the Palestinian people freely elected, Mahmoud Abbas, who just met face-to-face with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to plan for a Palestinian State that would coexist peacefully with Israel.
Despite an attempt by Russian President Vladimir Putinís old KGB buddies to poison him, the pro-Western, Viktor Yushchenko, was just elected by the people of the Ukraine to be their president.
Egyptian dictator, President Hosni Mubarak, is now asking for a constitutional amendment permitting names, in addition to his, to be on the presidential ballot. Probably, more symbolic than real, but itís a step in the right direction.
In Iran, the Mullahs, who were brought to power by the foreign policy ineptitude of Jimmy the Baptist Carter, are desperate to stop a rising demand for free elections. The Mullahs only hope is to make Iran a nuclear weapons power Ė something neither the Israeli Defense Force nor the U.S. will permit. Just one (repeat, just one), of our ballistic-missile submarines, using conventional warheads, can take out all of Iranís nuclear research and production facilities. That would take all of 30 seconds.
That clueless twit, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the accidental heir to power in Syria, has promised to withdraw his troops from Lebanon. With the fall of the Lebanese government, Bashar must either make good on his promised troop withdrawal or formally invade Lebanon. Surely, the vision of the former eye-doctor is sufficient to see that his invasion of Lebanon would provide the U.S. its longed-for invasion pretext. It would take about a week to run off Bashar and his cronies, and then let the Syrians hold free elections.
But the Saudi Royals still donít get it. They are still buying off the Wahhabi religious radicals so they wonít overthrow the House of Saud. That would deprive them of their fleets of Mercedes, their Paris town homes, their booze-stocked villas in the south of France, and their European mistresses. Some of the Royals are still funneling funds to al Qaeda. As home to Mecca and Medina, the two holiest cities of Islam, the Royals donít think General Franks will be returned to active duty to seize their oil fields. But then, given everything else that has just happened under the Bush Doctrine, they canít be sure of anything.
Clearly, free elections are the dynamic forces moving across the Middle East, and even the Russian perimeter. But two elections in this country made all those elections and, more to come, possible: the American presidential elections of 2000 and 2004. Had they gone the other way, none of these momentous events would have been set in train.
While the current tide of history may depress folks like Hunter S. Thompson, the Hollywood Left, Ward Churchill, and the Peopleís Republik of Boulder, the facts cannot be denied.
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist, a featured commentator for USA Today and self-described ďrecovering lawyer and philosopher,Ē is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy Ė two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2005. William Hamilton.