The New Burkeian

Reflections on the Revolution in Conservatism

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Lebanon II

The New Burkeian continues to find evidence for the need to intervene in Lebanon.

Ali reflected on his original assessment of the Syrian occupation of Lebanon:

It'll be interesting to watch how the Syrian dictator and his gang that had put him in power are going to respond to the mounting pressure and if they would resort to any logic and withdraw from Lebanon, but my experience with their twin party here in Iraq makes me believe that they learned nothing from Saddam's lesson and that they will do exactly the opposite and further tighten the rope on their neck with every single move.

Pressure should continue to be placed on the regime controlling Syria. And the fact that Syria has alligned itself with Iran will only make the situation easier. I do not believe the segment of the Iranian population fighting for Democratic reforms would support armed conflict with the Coalition of Democracies putting pressure on Syria, through Lebanon.

Fouad Ajami, a professor at Johns Hopkins, further explains the importance of American Actionary policy in Lebanon, at OpinionJournal:

Lebanon (my birthplace, I should add) may never have been as pretty as its tales. It may never have been the "Paris of the Mediterranean," and its modernism may have been skin-deep at times. But it was and remains a vibrant Arab country of open ways, a place for refugees and dissidents, a country where Arab modernity made a stand, and where Christians and Muslims built a culture of relative compromise.

There is talk nowadays of spreading liberty to Arab lands, changing the ways of the Arabs, putting an end to regimes that harbor terror. The restoration of Lebanon's sovereignty ought to be one way for the Arabs to break with the culture of dictators and police states, and with the time of the car bombs. Hariri sought for his country a businessman's peace. His way was a break with the politics of charisma and ideology that has wrecked the Arab world; he believed in philanthropy and practical work. His vision may not have been stirring. But there was dignity in it, and a reprieve from the time of darkness.

Lebanon is an appropriate target for the WoT, and the promotion of Democracy. And we have numerous tools at our disposal to achieve that goal. Hopefully, President Bush's trip to Europe can persuade the European Democracies of their importance in the WoT. As I have stated before, America does need allies in the promotion of Democracy. With European help, we could possibly put enough diplomatic pressure on Syria and Iran to exact change from within.

Another importan element about the situation in Lebanon is the fact that this is where a lot of American policy went wrong during the Cold War, in the Middle East. Actionary policy aspires to 'make right' what America was forced to do wrong during the fight against communism. Even some liberals can understand this. Consider A. Brown from wonktron5000:

Lebanon has been a key regional player for some time. It was in this area that America and France had a base of operations to project their power into the Ottoman Empire. It was in Lebanon that political-Islam was first advanced as a revolutionary doctrine and it was in Lebanon that suicide bombing first became popular in the Middle East. However, Lebanon was also the first Middle Eastern state to fully embrace democracy and the free-market and, in-between civil war, Lebanon was the only true multicultural state in the region.

American idealism, Actionary policy, can foster the rebirth of the Phoenix of Democracy in Lebanon. The Administration's rhetoric seems positive in this respect. The reasons exist for intervention in Lebanon. I only hope Actionary policy prevails.


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