Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Tyrants of the Middle East: The Bell Tolls for Thee

I think it is safe to say at this point that the tide is beginning to turn in the Middle East. The one million strong anti-Syrian/Pro-Democracy rally yesterday in Beirut was unprecedented in the history of the modern Middle East. The numbers were overwhelming and the message will be heard by the Assad government, the mullahs of Iran, the dictator in North Korea and by every other tyrant in the world. The message sent by the brave Iraqis on January 30th was that individuals have the power to overcome their dictators, defy terrorists and control their destiny. Is there still a long way to go? Absolutely, but the elections in Iraq and the protests in Syria will mark the beginning of the end of tyranny in the Middle East.

The Lebanese people are on the verge of overthrowing their occupiers. If that can happen, the dominos will begin to fall more rapidly. Young Iranians yearning for freedom may then have the confidence to rise up against the mullahs, paving the way youth driven reform through that country as well. Claudia Rosett, the reporter who uncovered the UN oil for food scandal, is in Beirut covering the protests for the New York Sun. She was interviewed by Hugh Hewitt yesterday. She states in the interview that the protestors want President Bush to keep speaking out for freedom and against Syrian occupation of their country. They understand that the President’s repeated call for Democratic reform in the Middle East are play a significant role in the progress being made in their country. The reformers in the Middle East know what many Americans do not. That if President Bush had not been steadfast in his determination to uproot Saddam Hussein, if he had given in to the UN, the anti war forces around the world or to our good friends in France and Germany, that the progress that has been made would never have been made. Voices around the world, once skeptical of the President’s policies are now beginning to see that President Bush may be their best hope for freedom. They are beginning to understand that it is he, not the anti-war protestors, not the UN, not the French, but President Bush and the coalition of the willing who has their best interest in mind, and they are willing to give him the credit that is due.

Though the millions yearning for freedom around the world understand the importance of the Presidents actions in Iraq, millions in this country and in Europe do not. To this point, those who hate the President have accused him of being an Imperialist warmonger. If the movement we have seen in Iraq and Lebanon continues, the vitriolic hatred spewed at the President will make it extremely difficult for his critics to rewrite history as they did with Ronald Reagan. However, if the President does not aid the revolution in Syria, and the momentum towards freedom dissipates, he runs the risk of being labeled, believe it or not, the President who did too little to help reformers in the Middle East. For more background read here, here and here.

Be sure to check the current posts for updates.