Middle East future
The war in Iraq has put into motion powerful forces that have shaken the area. The first free elections in Iraq and in Palestine have released a wave of democracy destined to endure.
The road to Middle East democratization will certainly be very long, and will cost who knows how many massacres and homicides.
(Former U.S. President Ronald) Reagan came to be strongly criticized in Europe when he chose to deploy Euromissiles to counterbalance Soviet missiles. But as a result of his efforts, he brought the Soviet Union to its exhaustion point and implosion. And no one today can discredit the effectiveness of his strategy.
Maybe in ten years, those who have said that President (George W.) Bush is a stupid cowboy will be obliged to admit that with the war in Iraq, political times in the Middle East have started to change.
In the Middle East, democratization is only beginning, and no one expects to immediately implant democracy such as we conceive of it in the West.
It can however be asked of those who have condemned the war in Iraq, to recognize that 'history is again on its way', and that our obligation as Westerners is to do whatever possible to help the Arab world to liberate itself. -- Il Corriere della Sera, Milan, Italy