Must-read Hoagland column on changes in the Middle East:
“…it is a Middle East in which those who believe in democracy and civil society are finally actors, even though we still face big obstacles,” says Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Egypt’s battle-scarred democratic activist.
Ibrahim originally opposed the invasion of Iraq. But it “has unfrozen
the Middle East, just as Napoleon’s 1798 expedition did. Elections in Iraq force the theocrats and autocrats to put democracy on the agenda, even
if only to fight against us. Look, neither Napoleon nor President Bush could impregnate the region with political change. But they were able to be the midwives,” Ibrahim told me in Washington.