More Successful By The Day
Since it's always difficult to argue the case for the Iraq invasion while actually looking at the chaos it caused there, it's useful to be able to point to something more positive. Almost anything will do, which is why we've heard that toppling Saddam resulted in, variously, the end of Pakistani nuclear proliferation, the "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine, Libya giving up on its WMD, Mubarak's multi-party elections, Saudi Arabia's municipal elections -- and, perhaps most popular of all, the expulsion of Syria's puppet government from Lebanon.
This last was a great testament to the soundness of the Bush strategy, we were told. Even though the obvious cause was the assassination of Hariri, it was actually down to George Bush's fetish for democracy. Melanie Phillips, for instance, detected that the anti-Syrian demonstrations were sparked by a presidential pronouncement:
"Soon after Hariri’s assassination, President Bush declared:This being the case, she castigated David Hirst for his "exemplary omission" of enlightened Washington policy from his analysis of the situation.
‘We want that democracy in Lebanon succeed, and we know it cannot succeed so long as she is occupied by a foreign power, and that power is Syria.’
The Lebanese, paying close attention, took to the streets and demanded Syrian withdrawal."
Even keener than her to sell the Lebanon success story was Stephen Pollard. As soon as the Karami government stepped down he knew whom to thank for the surge of democratic feeling. It was "real man of peace", George Bush:
"[T]oday's resignation of the Lebanese Syrian quisling government is but the latest demonstration of something which the Bush-hating fanatics (by which I mean the BBC and the rest of bien pensant opinion) will continue to ignore whatever the evidence: that Bush's foreign policy is not merely wise, but grows demonstrably more successful by the day."The explanation was clear:
"None of this happened by accident. It happened as a result of one common factor: the exercise of American power in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the consequent fear amongst terror-supporting regimes that they too would go the way of him and it."So America's "wise" and "successful" democracy spreading policy was the direct cause of regime change in Lebanon -- leading, within months, to the Siniora government now in power. In 2005 we were instructed to congratulate Bush for this feat.
Now it turns out this wonderful democratic government, arising out of "fear amongst terror-supporting regimes" instilled by Bush's activities, is in fact an Israel-hating, terror-supporting regime unwilling, rather than unable, to rein in Hezbollah. The president remains disgracefully attached to Hezbollah. Presumably it's no longer evidence that Bush's foreign policy "grows demonstrably more successful by the day".
Expect continuing demonisation of the Lebanese government, a total silence on last year's extravagant claims that Lebanon vindicated the Bush doctrine, and a search for some new ex post facto justification for the Iraq invasion.