THE NEW BUSH DOCTRINE. Son Shine by Martin Peretz
Peretz like Bush on Iraq and Israel and shots down the opposition in both parties. Good article.
I am not one of those who believes democracy will come soon either to Iraq or to the entity to be called Palestine (when--and if--the Palestinians finally grasp that they cannot have both a state and a warrant to kill Israelis). There is no reason to believe either of these polities will succeed in the democratic experiment that has failed or, to be more precise, has not been seriously tried in the Arab world. But there are improvements short of democracy: police who are not routinely brutal, government that isn't routinely corrupt, and courts that are not satraps of politics. And the Bush administration deserves credit for making clear that it will not merely enable friendlier but just as murderous successor regimes in Baghdad and Ramallah.
It is not the pursuit of good government, however, that has put this country on a collision course with the leadership in Palestine and Iraq. Our motives are more fundamental than that: The U.S. government has made a decision that it will not permit either mass terror by Baghdad or random terror by the many Palestinian militias to set the norms of how others, in the region and beyond, live or die. This is the critical principle underlying our Iraqi policy and our Palestinian policy. It is, at root, a statement about how we define civilization and how we defend it from its unconventionally armed discontents.