If I had six or seven centuries to work on things, I wouldn't do it this way in Iraq or Afghanistan. But the "war on terror" is more accurately a race against time - to unwreck the Middle East before its toxins wreck South Asia, West Africa, and eventually Europe.
I saw it at Powerline - "A Race Against Time"
I think that what we fail to forget not only in Iraq, but the Middle East in its entirety is that we, the U.S. and its Allies, are trying to un-do 50, 100, 1000 you pick, years of gridlock, infighting, splits, and religious bastardization.
The Full Steyn Column is here: "I hate to rain on Europe's parade but.."
If you care... there is more below.
A lot of people on the left are calling out with a new cry since the success of the Iraqi elections. "Bush didn't even want them." "It was all Sistani." Wait, someone in IRAQ spoke up and demanded freedom? That is bad? We want to mock it?
Now of course if we look deeper at "WHO" Sistani is... we see maybe why Bush and the US Admin. was worried over a declaration of action from a man like Sistani. He is someone who is not a hardline Iranian style Theocratic ruler, but he is the highest ranking Shia religious figure.
This BBC article outlines his role since the fall of Saddam: "Ayatollah Sistani"
The point is that the US is trying to remove decades of religious pressure, fighting, and deals. What is a good time table for that? I'm sure someone like Sen. Kennedy would say 1 year, but maybe a few years is more likely, and maybe we wont see full democratization for a decade. Even here in America, it took from 1776 to 1787 (1789) to really actualize our full version of a Republic. It's easy to sit back and criticize how Iraq isn't enough like the US yet, but that really isn't the intention of this War.
Steyn said it right:
The obsession of the anti-Americans misses the point: it's not about America. Surely even Fisk and the other "experts" aren't so obtuse that they can't see that the one undeniable fact of the election is that there are millions of Iraqis who want change. That doesn't mean they want to turn Basra and Kirkuk into Cleveland and Buffalo, only that they want something other than the opposing cul-de-sacs of secular pan-Arabist dictatorship and death-cult Islamism, which dead-end alternatives are all the region's had to offer for decades.