We do not yet know, however, whether this initial flourishing of democracy will succeed. The Syrian and Iraqi Baathists, their jihadist allies, and the various regional autocrats are quite determined to suppress it. But we do know one thing: Those who claimed, with great certainty, that Arabs are an exception to the human tendency toward freedom, that they live in a stunted and distorted culture that makes them love their chains -- and that the notion the United States could help trigger a democratic revolution by militarily deposing their oppressors was a fantasy -- have been proved wrong.
As an advocate of that notion of democratic revolution, I am not surprised that the opposing view was proved false. I am surprised only that it was proved false so quickly -- that the voters in Iraq, the people of Lebanon, the women of Kuwait, the followers of Ayman Nour in Egypt would rise so eagerly at the first breaking of the dictatorial "stability" they had so long experienced (and we had so long supported) to claim their democratic rights.
This amazing display has prompted a wave of soul-searching. When a Le Monde editorial titled "Arab Spring" acknowledges "the merit of George W. Bush," when the cover headline of London's The Independent is "Was Bush Right After All?" and when a column in Der Spiegel asks "Could George W. Bush Be Right?" you know that something radical has happened.
It is not just that the ramparts of Euro-snobbery have been breached. Iraq and, more broadly, the Bush doctrine were always more than a purely intellectual matter. The left's patronizing, quasi-colonialist view of the benighted Arabs was not just analytically incorrect. It was morally bankrupt, too.
Suck on that, protesters. You were wrong then, and you're fifty times as wrong now.
UPDATE: Varifrank has been posting as spottily as I have lately, but I should have checked him out earlier so I could include his fine post on this topic. Very well said sir.