Can There Be a Liberal Iraq……?

The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens, writes about Iraqi liberal, Mithal al-Alusi. Can There Be a Liberal Iraq? Parliamentarian Mithal al-Alusi still thinks so.

“Mr. Alusi and his party stand for democracy, liberalism, secularism, antiterrorism and national unity. The question for Iraq is: Does anyone stand with Mr. Alusi?” “Mr. Alusi’s obsession with the Iranian threat might be explained by the fact that he is himself a Sunni. Except he is no less emphatic on the danger posed by the Sunni terrorists who murdered his sons, or Hamas militants firing rockets into Israel. “The same terrorists who are attacking Israeli society are attacking me,” he says.

And unlike some among the U.S. foreign policy establishment, he refuses to draw fine distinctions between Sunni, Shiite, Baathist, secular, local or global strands of modern-day terrorism. Instead, he lumps them together as an alliance of fascists, intent on using murder to impose their values, which must be confronted with an equally tenacious alliance against terrorism. “If America loses its will [in this fight] there won’t be peace in the Middle East for 20 years,” he warns.

None of this means that Mr. Alusi and his party are going to thrive in the future Iraq. But it is a reminder that the cause of liberalism is not yet dead in Iraq, and that the transfer of values between Baghdad and Washington is not a one-way street. America went to Mesopotamia to spread the gospel of democracy. Mr. Alusi has come to the U.S. to offer an example of courage. A point worth noting amid the speeches of Senators Hagel, Warner and Kerry.

More here. *L* KGS

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