Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Always Bet on Freedom

"Priorities for the Next President":

Ambassador Ryan Crocker, our envoy in Baghdad, put it best: “In the end, how we leave, and what we leave behind, will be more important than how we came.” The American project in Iraq can’t be allowed to fail. It is fundamental to the peace of that “Greater Middle East.” We must also retain the best of President George W. Bush’s “diplomacy of freedom”—the belief that Arabs and Muslims don’t have tyranny in their DNA. Americans may differ in their reading of Bush, but in
the Arab and Islamic world, he leaves behind a commendable legacy: the willingness to bet on freedom, the belief that our pact with autocracy in that region has not served us well. In Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, the American effort has not been in vain.

-- Fouad Ajami, Director of the Middle East Studies Program at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at the Johns Hopkins University.