Wednesday, March 09, 2005

And you'll have to admit I'm endearing; I help keep things humming, I'm not domineering

Even the NYT gets on board with admitting, maybe Bush's grand transformative vision for the Middle East might have been, y'know, an alright idea. A thought occurs. Now, what we've been seeing for the past month and a half is largely the result of events set in motion between 2003-2004, one major catalyst of which was the relatively successful Iraqi elections. If last year's election had gone differently, if Kerry had won, I doubt very much the Iraqi elections would have been postponed or rescheduled. I doubt the turnout would have been different. I doubt Ukraine's popular revolution against a corrupt regime's electoral fraud (superb encouragement for similar uprisings elsewhere) would have gone down any differently, and I doubt Syria would have acted any less hamhandedly in Lebanon. In short, for whatever credit Bush may be attributed in the current apparent vindication of his administration's policy, the acts that led to that success were accomplished entirely during his first term. If that had been his only term, and these successes were happening under a Kerry administration, how much different would the media spin be? I've got a feeling that credit for the current wave of good news (and I'll grant that it could collapse at any point, though I certainly hope not; we supporters of that grand plan would do well to be humble) would now be going to anyone else, if not for that inconvenient fact that Bush was re-elected - even, perhaps, John F. Kerry himself, in that counterfactual universe. Anything's possible. History is a funny thing, in that curious process by which it's slowly constructed out of Current Events. It's so subjective, so fluid, that it's sometimes difficult to imagine the bigger picture. Most people aren't able to look at bare girders, and see the skyscraper that will eventually be - but I'm grateful that some can at least realize the structual validity of the blueprints.


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