July 16, 2004
EARLIER, I MENTIONED that Peggy Noonan had responded to Austin Bay's email on taking a "time out" from the war. Now Austin (still in Iraq) sends this commentary on Noonan's response:
Peggy Noonan and I completely agree on the raison d'etre for fostering democracy--- doing so creates more peace and less war. Empirical evidence supports the connection, folks. It ain't theory.
Frankly, I could use "less war" at this very moment. What I could really use is a shot of single-malt followed by another hour of sleep.
Iraq has such potential --water, people, source of capital (oil). Twenty years from now the pessimists will be as discredited as...well, as Ambassador Joe Wilson is, to pluck a current blogosphere for-instance. But that's twenty tough years of hard, slow, grinding work. That's a difficult story, so complex and intricate-- gosh, you have to know something about Babylon as well as the International Monetary Fund. Fostering democracy requires patience and a long, broad time horizon. Our 24/7 news mavens focus on the quick hit of glitz, gotcha, and gore. This project isn't quick.
Noonan's right. It takes leadership to focus the nation on the genuine rewards of that deeper horizon.
...but I sure could use another hour of sleep...
If only I could email those.