Editorial: Outbursts of democracy

03/07/2005
One of many cynical ways to disparage democratic progress in the region that contains most of the world’s oil and gas is to complain about US influence. To fanatic isolationists in the Middle East and North Africa, external influence, especially of the American variety, is anathema. And to the professionally skeptical elsewhere, any US role disqualifies democratization from historic significance.Yet Iraqis defying terrorist threats in order to vote, like Lebanese turning to the streets to bring down a puppet government, don’t seem to care who or what cracked the door to self-governance. They’ve witnessed if not yet experienced the freedom essential to democracy. They lik...
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