William Shawcross in yesterday's Sunday Times:
The reality is that there are two processes side by side in Iraq. The first is the political process in which Iraqis have voted in their millions in municipal and general elections and in a referendum to approve a new constitution. There is a free press for the first time, competing television stations and it seems that every house has a satellite dish - they were banned under Saddam.In the Times the previous day, Matthew Parris took William Hague to task for being attached to a broadly similar view:
Parallel to this is the bloodiness on the streets, where terrorists - Sunni, Shi'ite and Al-Qaeda - are determined to stop the Iraqis being given a better chance. Every time the political process advances, the terrorists step up their attacks to try to derail it...
[I]f the [new] government is seen as broadly representative of the Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish populations and is seen to be effective, it will be much harder for the insurgents.
Even those who were opposed to the invasion of Iraq should recognise that this is a whole new battle - between the values of a liberal civil society and nihilism, sometimes Islamic but always nihilism.
[Hague:] "... We're all in this together... standing with those brave democrats in Iraq who are trying to rebuild their nation... Should representative government... take root in Iraq, [jihadists] will not only have been defeated in one key battle, they will also find that an alternative path has been established in the Middle East which gives its people the hope, prosperity and freedom they deserve."Parris says more than he knows: if to side with Iraqi democrats is pure Pentagon, something you definitely don't want to be, then... what? Tough on them?
This stuff is pure Pentagon.