Sunday, September 19, 2004

Latest from Mark Steyn

While I'm on the subject of international bloggers, Mark Steyn's latest column for the Sunday Telegraph is here (Hat tip He takes on the Chicken-Littles in the US and Britain who are wringing their hands about the situation in Iraq:

Then there are the naysayers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office who, as we now know, were claiming before the war that nothing could be done, nothing would go right, patently absurd to think Iraq can ever be a democracy, old boy. Topple Saddam, install his replacement, and pretty soon Iraq would be reverting to type. "Military coup could succeed coup until an autocratic Sunni dictator emerged who protected Sunni interests. With time he could acquire WMD."

I have no problem with that. If the best-case scenario is that Iraq winds up as agreeable as my beloved New Hampshire, the worst case was laid out by yours truly in this space three years ago, on September 27, 2001, when I acknowledged that a post-Saddam Iraq might wind up merely with "a thug who's marginally less bloody.

But a new thug is still better than letting the old thug stick around to cock snooks at you. If Saddam had been toppled, the nutter du jour would have come to power in the shadow of the cautionary tale of his predecessor".

That's still the bottom line. It is the stability of the Middle East - the stability of the Ba'athists, Ayatollahs, Sauds, the Arafats and Mubaraks - that has enabled it to export its toxins. At a bare minimum, we need a kind of Sam Goldwyn Doctrine: I'm sick of the old dictators-for-life. Bring me some new dictators-for-life.

But in Iraq we are already way beyond that. After the predictions of hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths and a mass refugee crisis and a humanitarian catastrophe and wall-to-wall cholera and dysentery all failed to pan out, the naysayers fell back on predictions of imminent civil war. But the civil war's as mythical as the universal dysentery.

Mark is also a weekly guest (Wednesdays at 3PM Pacific) on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, and lots of fun to listen to.

Today, Hugh links to Mark's column, and then follows with thoughts about Rathergate and an excerpt from his interview with Chuck Colson about Watergate recounted in Searching for God in America. Bottom line:
Great apologetics with practical advice for those connected tot he (sic) fraud: Come clean early. You get the best deal.

Go read the whole thing.