Mideast Stability

John O'Sullivan: “The United States is in a position to offer an attractive deal to Riyadh: We will protect you against any domestic insurrection provided that you break with the mullahs, end subsidizing terrorism and fundamentalism abroad, bring in liberal reforms of the polity and the economy today -- free speech, freedom of the press, rule of law -- and begin the gradual transformation of the country into a constitutional democratic monarchy over the next few decades.”

Pretty good deal, if you ask me. Not that either party would be full, willing partners. But Saudi Arabia, our "friends", is not a pleasant place to live. Neither is Afghanistan now that the Taliban has been defeated (I read somewhere that it was the worst armed army in history, comparative to "at the time" world standards, going up against the best armed country, in absolute terms as well as comparative, ever), the Left huffed and hawed that Afghanistan was pretty much ignored before Osama bin Laden made it his hideout. Fair enough, but that complaint seems a little muted now that women are again allowed to be educated. If it's a side-effect, this is a positive side-effect, is it not?

O'Sullivan seems to be suggesting that if you bring down Saddam and impose 'regime change' (which is probably just a nice way of saying we'll kill him and his cronies and put in whoever we like), that the house of cards in the Middle East will fall, with effective 'regime change' in other states.

Also: George F. Will: “Congress then did not so much declare war [against Japan in 1941 after Pearl Harbor] as acknowledge war's surprising eruption. Today the justifiable, but undeniably radical, policy of preemptive war compels Congress to play a dramatically different role. What is underway is without precedent in U.S. history. It is a methodical and semi-public preparation for a massive military operation to achieve an aim frequently proclaimed at the highest levels of government. The aim is to compel a change of regime in a nation that is intensely and increasingly menacing as it strains to achieve the capacity for attacking American interests.”

Photodude: “My prediction: after the polls close Election Tuesday, Hussein Hunting Season opens, very shortly thereafter. In time to give a positive final report in the State of the Union address in January, 2003.”