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Wednesday, May 05, 2004

COMMENTARY ROUND-UP First as a follow-up to yesterday's post about a properly conservative Iraq policy here is a dire piece, courtesy of the Cato Institute:

A political culture shapes democracy far more than democracy shapes the political culture. One must hope that, against all available evidence, contemporary Iraqi political culture has minimal influence on the new Iraqi democracy.
Democracy is an evolutionary development rather than an overnight phenomenon. No single day of good news from Iraq changes that reality.

So, time for the strongman, eh? Daniel Pipes seems to think so. No, this can't be the solution either, but this thinking is sure to spread wider, the longer the situation on the ground and the tv screens remains so barren.

Talking of strength, who calls the shots in the new EU? I'm not so sure about it's going to be Germany, but give it a look anyway. This reminds us that there is certainly far more potential for German power in the Eu than its current policies would suggest.

Returning to the Middle East, after the Likud party members failed to do the only thing sensible and approve of Sharon's withdrawal plan Gerard Steinberg explains why it is the only game in town:

But in reality, the chances of achieving a Palestinian surrender in the foreseeable future (20 to 40 years) are close to zero.
. . .
In other words, despite the outcome of the Likud referendum, unilateral disengagement remains Israel's least bad and most realistic option.
This strategy will make terrorism more difficult to conduct, reduce the demographic threat of a Palestinian Arab majority, allow for managing the conflict through deterrence and interdiction, and reduce daily friction.
When the alternatives are examined in detail, none of them are able to offer even these limited benefits. As a result, after the emotions have cooled and rationality returns, unilateral disengagement is still the only game in town.

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