July 16, 2004

LEE SMITH writes on the myth of Islamist democracy and argues that we should be pushing harder for Western-style freedom in the Arab world. He also makes this important, if obvious, point about French interference in these efforts:

And as even Chirac surely knows, proof that they are incapable of self-reform is provided by the steady stream of Arabs who have fled those failed states for Europe and the United States.

Chirac is not defending Arabs, only his position as a dear friend and frontman of those Arab rulers who have no wish to reform their governments. Maybe democracy can't be imposed, but democratic and liberal reforms certainly can.