April 18, 2004

Bush and Blair

An excerpt from Andrew Sullivan's Sunday Times column on why Bush and Blair are "still together":

You can talk about religious faith. You can talk about a habit of intellectual certainty or personal chemistry. But it makes far more sense to interpret the relationship as one of a shared understanding of the most important issues in world politics today.

Both leaders believe that terrorism is the greatest threat to civilisation. Both believe that weapons of mass destruction if combined with terror could destroy that civilisation. Both believe that the crisis is deeper and wider than many others want to think about. Both believe that the war in Iraq, far from being a diversion from the war on terror is, in fact, the most critical moment in that war. And both believe they are winning. They are right.

If you look dispassionately at the events of the past few months - even the past few bloody weeks in Iraq - you can see why. In several theatres of war, the West has made enormous progress.

The Taliban regime no longer exists and Al-Qaeda has been damaged severely. One of the most destabilising forces in the Middle East - the disintegrating regime of Saddam Hussein - has been removed. The most aggressive terror state of the previous two decades, Libya, has come in from the cold. The younger generation in Iran is risking life and limb for change.

The possibility of a representative pluralist government in a critical Arab state is now within reach for the first time - and that possibility offers the only, yes the only, chance for real and lasting progress against the forces of Islamo-fascism.

All the news out of Iraq these past couple of weeks has been hyped into a message of despair. But in fact something quite remarkable has occurred. The most dangerous representative of Islamicist theocracy in Iraq, Moqtada al-Sadr, facing the prospect of a moderate government, decided to play his only card and seize power by force. He was routed by American forces and isolated by moderate Shi'ites.
The reason why Bush and Blair are still together is that they can see the distant, still perilous, but tangible prospect ahead. It may take more setbacks. It may not prevent future atrocities. But in the events of the past few weeks they can begin to see that success is not impossible.

(via normblog)

Posted by dan at April 18, 2004 9:43 PM