April 13, 2005


Say You Want a Revolution: Change needs help from its friends. (Peter Ackerman and Michael Ledeen, April 13, 2005, LA Times)

In recent months, skepticism about the appeal of freedom has given way to a new belief: that democratic revolution is now possible, even inevitable, in places such as Lebanon, Iran, Syria and Kyrgyzstan. But "people power" is not an unstoppable tidal wave, and it would be wrong and naive to conclude that we need only step back and let it happen. The Western world has a lot at stake, and our support for democratic forces in the Middle East and beyond will be important, perhaps even decisive.

Freedom-loving people know what we want to see in Beirut, Damascus and Tehran: the central square bursting with citizens demanding an end to tyranny, massive strikes shutting down the national economy, the disintegration of security forces charged with maintaining order, and the consequent departure of the tyrants and the beginnings of a popularly elected government.

A successful people's revolution is the outcome of careful planning and mass discipline, but it requires political and economic support from outside the country — and maybe some from within.

The careful planners of 9-11 and the Hariri assassination didn't have democratic revolution in mind though.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 13, 2005 8:12 AM
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