If there is a connection between the neocon murder spree in Iraq and revolution in Tunisia, Egypt, et al, it is that the invasion of Iraq so undermined any lingering legitimacy in the US and our torture puppets across the Arab world that a mass movement arose to overthrow the dictators we prop up. If the neocon plan had anything to do with this, it is not in the way they want to spin it.
Yes. It looks like they were.
In order for the neocon argument to hold up, you would have to witness some mention among the protesters of Iraq as a model. Show me one instance of protesters in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, etc. referencing a desire to attain Iraqi style "freedom". I won't be holding my breath... can't hold my breath while I'm laughing. What a ludicrous, revisionist, unsustainable argument. Conservative daydreaming at it's worst.
Well, they can take credit for the torpedoing of the world economy, which clearly has had some influence on Arab revolutionary fervor.
I can see why the neocons would make that argument, but it's totally false. Yes, it would have still happened if Saddam was still in power. The same it it still happened with all the other despots in power. If anything, we set BACK these kinds of revolutions, because of the mess we made in Iraq. A lot of other people saw the civil war, chaos and general mess in Iraq and probably said we don't want that here. Iraq was a fake revolution. Tunisia was the real deal. Tunisia (and to some degree the green movement in Iran) started it all. Sorry but Cheney can't take credit for this. But he can take credit for the mess that's Iraq.
@3: I don't buy that. Historical groundwork and context only count if it's explicitly mentioned? Nonsense. The zeitgeist is created from lots of things, and they can still count even if not explicitly credited. Sometimes this stuff is only clear in hindsight, years later.

It is an interesting question, actually. I'm no neocon, and I have always opposed the Iraq war as a waste of lives, money, goodwill, and time. But is there an argument that the removal of Houssein weakened the air of permanence and inevitability that other dictators enjoyed? Sure, maybe. It's going to be hard to prove one way or the other.

But even if the neocons did perversely contribute in a positive way, it was wholly unintentional. It's like if someone were firing a gun into the air, and a bullet came down to strike a mugger. Nobody would say that proves that we should be firing into the air more often, or even that it was the right thing to do at the time.
If Saddam Hussein was still Iraq's boss the region would probably be more stable and if it were more stable, leaders like Mubarak would probably be less jittery and more confident and might've, maybe, had the stomach for the massacres that would've been needed to shut this inconvenient burst of democracy down.

Aside from that, what Fistique said. It's the economy.

I imagine Internet access and greater global integration probably helped a lot too.
I also like Also's comment: "is there an argument that the removal of Houssein weakened the air of permanence and inevitability that other dictators enjoyed? Sure, maybe."
Remember when Dan got sucked into the neo-con arguments leading up to the Iraq war?

"To stumble twice upon the same stone is a proverbial disgrace." - Cicero
Maybe the rest of the Arab world learned the US wasn't completely all powerful.
"But would this "revolution across the whole Arab world" be happening if Saddam Hussein were still in power?"

Yes, and sooner.

"Will historians look back on the Iraq war as the beginning (a bloody, expensive, extraordinarily problematic beginning) of a democratization movement?

Were the Straussians right all along?"

No to both. God, you flipping neocons count the hits, then count the misses as hits too.
@10: Yep. And interestingly, Obama's hesitancy to fully support the protesters might have been the best possible thing. Had he immediately come out and denounced Mubarek and supported the revolution, the Arab world would be talking about "the U.S.-led revolution in Egypt." By linking the U.S. to Mubarek, Obama may have helped the revolution in Egypt and made it more likely to spread. Is there value in playing the bad cop?

Or maybe I'm just an old liberal playing the same justification games that Kiley paints on the neocons.
@8: ""is there an argument that the removal of Houssein weakened the air of permanence and inevitability that other dictators enjoyed"

Maybe it was our inability to find non-corrupt puppets to install.
Though I'm no kind of conservative and I feel we should have never gotten involved in Iraq, I do believe that a close analysis of the motivations of many of those labelled neoconservative show that some genuinely believe that American military might can be used to export democracy. (I just don't find the far-left attempts to demonize all these people as cold-blooded murderers trying to make money for corporations very convincing.) This is an interesting question, Brendan, and I'm optimistic enough to believe that history could to some degree prove that the neocons weren't totally off base.
I don't buy it. As @ 1 points out, the first thing the neocons have to do is show some link between Tunisia and Iraq. Maybe the protesters could have Iraq in mind and not say so, but it seems doubtful that they wouldn't mention it if it was on their minds.

Further, the fact that Saddam's regime was overthrown by forceful military conquest, and not by a democracy movement, is a major difference. The Tunisians weren't looking for America or any other outside power to come rescue them from their dictators.

The Iraqi situation is so different in so many ways that this can't be viewed as having anything to do with it. The neocons are spinning this one furiously.
@6 - fair enough, and in some other context I might concede the point. But for the neocon justification to work here, there really needs to be something that shows direct correlation. They can't go from the cocksure, arrogant assertion that, "We will be greeted as liberators" to what ever nebulous argument they are trying to make now. There is simply no rational rationale for the justification they are attempting to make.
Excellent question, and I guess only time will tell.

It's true that, once the idea of representative rule is out of the bottle, that particularly powerful genie can't be contained again. I often think of Tiananmen Square and that iconic image of the lone protestor standing in front of the tank.. That impulse may be buried in China right now, but by no means is it extinct. Such a fact has to give nightmares to Power - they know that theirs is ultimately a losing battle. The will of the people cannot be denied forever.

But then, I'm an optimist. It would be truly ironic if history's judgement is that, yes, the hand that lit the fuse of Arab Democracy was the same mottled and palsied hand that lied to and manipulated its own people for its own ends...

Life is messy.

There is no link between Iraq and Tunisia, or Iraq and Egypt, no matter how desperately the neocons want there to be. Iraq is not a model for anything. That country is a completely devastated shithole, and no one looks to them for anything at all. Democracy? You've got to be kidding me. Iraq's "democracy" is more like a stalemate or a truce than anything. No one in Egypt wants Iraq.

When and if this kind of democracy comes to Iraq, it will look nothing like Allawi and Co.

The protesters in Egypt were motivated by the massive, ever-widening, and ever-more-visible disparity between the modernity that they see in the rest of the world, even if only on television, and the deadening poverty of their own country, except for the increasingly glaring examples of the kleptocrats who ruled over them. Economically Egypt is still stuck in the 1950s with Nasser and Sadat. That's untenable whatever happened in Iraq.

The neocons are trying to whitewash their role in the Iraq and Afghanistan catastrophes.
@16,@18: I just don't agree with the "direct link" thing, or with the idea that there's some homogeneous motivation for protestors and revolution.

Let's take civil rights here in the U.S. We can probably all agree that the movement and resulting laws and social changes were a good thing that made America more fair, more competitive, and generally better. But where's the direct link? Does the impact of civil rights laws depend on whether or not a black CEO points to them?

Also note that Kiley was raising a question about whether there was an argument to be made that the Iraq war *contributed* to an environment where revolution could happen. You two are both vehemently disagreeing with something that nobody's said: that the Iraq war *caused* the revolutions. Very different propositions, right?

I think the neocons were wrong at best, criminal at worst. But is it so wrong to examine whether there might be an unintentional silver lining to an otherwise disastrous policy?
The answer to your question is only insomuch as Global Capitalism and it's unjustified and abject dependence on cheap energy has been lain bare the real reasons for our dead-end Iraq and Afghanistan occupations. The collapsed Soviet Union (controlled then by the corrupt and insular Communist Party) chose to crack its Humpty Dumpty noggin on Afghanistan and wasn't able to be put back together again.

It's been reported that the people's sorry economic situation drove them to topple the cabals that made a few rich at the expense of the many.

The People revolted because the neocons modeled democracy by occupying them and propping up corrupt political players all for The Corporation's benefit? Give me a fucking break.
I find it doubtful that the invasion of Iraq had much to do with this. The connection is timing-based and generally tenuous. The Iraq war was just awful, for so many reasons, and there's an argument to be made that the Arab Spring would have come sooner if Bush hadn't fucked up the reputation of democracy by associating it with the violence and horror that he unleashed on Iraq.
Brendan, first you have to demonstrate or logically rationalize that there is some connection between the fall of Saddam Hussein and "voting" in Iraq, and what happened in Tunisia and Egypt many years later. Just because one happened and then the other happened doesn't mean they're connected. You don't present any information on that potential connect, so it's impossible to agree with your argument.
@19, they ARE saying exactly that: the credit for the Egyptian revolt goes to the Iraq War. THEY are making the link. They're fanning out across the news channels right now making exactly this argument.

The Iraq War meets ZERO of the criteria for "setting the conditions" for Egypt. There's nothing similar there in any way. Silver lining my ass.
Aren't all the neocon types up in arms about what's going on in Egypt? Seems like if democracy in the Arab world means they elect groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, they're against it. The only "democracy" the neocons really want in the Arab world is the kind that leads to markets opening up for American and trans-national corporations.
I’m pretty sure the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions have much more to do with some dude setting himself on fire in Tunisia, and very little to do with the American military setting people on fire in Iraq. The latter was more incendiary to Muslim extremists, and the former more incendiary to democratic-minded people of all stripes.
@25: well whodda thought self-immolation might be incendiary :p
How much of Sadaam's oil are we buying now compared to during the embargo?

How did this change re: how much oil we buy from Egypt?

This revolution would not continue if Egypt kept their unemployment rate below 10% People without jobs have lots of time to protest.
No, for 2 reasons.

1) Iraq has yet to become the shining "city on a hill" example of liberty for the Arab world. Elections have happened, yes, but the arab world isn't exactly jealous of the Iraqis.

2) Iraq was not an example of citizen revolution, and the arab world recognized that. It was a same-old-same-old example of the US coming in and overthrowing a government - total yawn.

Tunisia, on the other hand, was an obvious example of a successful citizen revolt. Tunisia is widely believed to have been the idea catalyst, not Iraq.

I have yet to hear any credible arguments that Iraq in any way triggered the Tunisian revolution, for the same reasons above.
I think that Bush might have helped the Egyptian uprising by allowing the American people to completely abandon the right and vote for Obama, which was a sign of change for the entire world.

If anything, Obama is the reason for this popular uprising, not unlike his grassroots campaign in the US.
Arab dictators were supported by the neo cons. It was Obama's speech in Cairo. Listen to it and listen to the crowds support. Even Hillary gave a speech warning the dictators their time was up.
This is why Bush is right.

Look at Eastern Europe. At what point did they "embrace democracy" ? Was it at the point they read Thomas Jefferson and exclaimed "Darn, this guy so much better than Marx"?

No. It was at the point the the United States crushed the U.S.S.R. and all its client states economically, politically and militarily and Boris said..."we give up!"

Same with the Arabs...there wasn't a bar in Cairo that didn't have cheering crowds the day the WTC came tumbling down. Now, 10 years later...who's the man? Yeah, the man is G.I. Joe, Steve Jobs and Paula Abdul..the trifecta of American strength, technology and talent.

That is why they are revolting. Brookings Institute (…). Our stuff is badder than their stuff and their local leaders were depantsed by Gen. Petreus.
Neocons and Neoliberals alike share an arrogant belief not just in the superiority of our system to all possible others, but that we bear a messianic duty to bestow our form of democracy on the rest of the world. The assumption that what's happening in Egypt is because of something we did or didn't do looks like yet another example of the U.S. assuming the rest of the world is incapable of making a move without first checking to see what we're doing.

What's more, we have historically shown absolutely no inclination to support "people's revolutions" that produce regimes that refuse to do business with us on our terms. Some liberals, myself included, believe that while the yearning for self-determination and fundamental human rights may be universal, our particular version of it is idiosyncratic and not necessarily the only working template; Left alone, revolutions in different places will likely produce very different systems.

I would further argue that the American form of capitalism makes our leaders highly reluctant, to say the least, to tolerate nations whose form of self-rule impairs existing trade relationships that work in our favor. When the people living in resource-rich countries vote to cut themselves in on the action, they find out pretty quickly what sort of "democracy" they are allowed to have (see Iran, Venezuela.) The fact that the Iraq constitution allows for 100% foreign ownership of key industries goes a long way to illustrate where the U.S. would prefer to set the limits of self-rule if we have anything to say about it.

@ 19 (also), the "direct link" for the Civil Rights movement was to the experiences of black soldiers and sailors in WW2, where they were treated like men (even if segregated, they actually got the same guns and uniforms as the white guys, as opposed to the inferior goods available in the "separate but equal" south) and hailed as liberators in Europe by white people who didn't care what they looked like.

As Fnarf points out, the neo-cons are the ones alleging a link here. They need to point out better evidence to support that allegation.

@ Brendan Kiley, your lengthy update doesn't really change your question. You already asked if the neocons were right, and that's all you basically say again. To which I answer, correlation is not causation.

As soon as some of these protesters say they were inspired by the fact that Saddam is gone and Iraq has the occasional election, I'll say the neocons were (at least partially) correct. Until then, no.

One bit: Brendan may be onto something when he makes fun of knee-jerk calls of "Eurocentrism" or whatever arising in reaction to this notion, but it should be pointed out that the neocons' supposition that Arabs need to see freedom elsewhere in the Arab world, and not from, say, the Europeans who are closer to North Africa than Iraq, is the flip side of that coin.
Whether or not this argument works, I think (as a leftist/progressive who grew up in a fairly conservative environment) Kiley hits on some good points about motivations of Neocons and cultural-studies profs.
If the neo-cons planned on this happening, how come they didn't tell us it would happen back then?

If the sum total of their "reverse domino" theory amounts to: "Let's go to war and hope the Arab world joins us," I'm not too impressed.
@23: So your logic is basically: if some neocons out there are going way to far and claiming 100% credit for Tunisia and Egypt with 100% foresight that this is *exactly* what would happen, it precludes more reasonable people from considering whether Iraq might have, in some way, contributed to a Middle East atmosphere more conducive to revolution?

I mean, I can argue against you by quoting things that other people have said (and there *are* some nutty liberals out there, to my chagrin), or I can stay with the topic at hand: did the Iraq invasion possibly *facilitate* Tunisia and Egypt in some way. I think it's an interesting question, and that there are legitimate arguments for Iraq being at least a small piece of the puzzle.

And I'm very suspicious of people who are 100%, absolutely, black-and-white sure of anything in such a complex situation. There's too much "the neocons were wrong about everything, and everything they did was evil, and therefore no good could have ever come from it, even indirectly and unintentionally" dogma going on in here.

@34: Be wary of changing your position in any direction based on a few voices. I guarantee I can dig up a protester or two -- out of hundreds of thousands -- who credits George Bush. Then again, you can probably find a few who credit Coca Cola, the Green Bay victory, etc. Primary sources are great, but in a large population of people caught up in tumultuous events, you're going to be able to find any viewpoint you choose to look for. That's no way to form an opinion.
I can only assume that 31 is a parody of some sort.
In the end, this is not even an interesting question, just an inept one. For the question to be valid, one has to assume that
A: The US successfully established a democracy in Iraq by force
B: Said democracy is functional and desirable
C: The Arab street took notice of this democratic miracle and was inspired by it.
None of these assumptions are in evidence.
The cause of this uprising is brutal suppression, a bulge in the youth population coupled with a lack of opportunity, a widening gap between rich and poor and systemic corruption. Things like this… contributed to the events. The removal of Saddam has not one thing to do with it.
The left hates them because they stand for universal moral principles

This statement is utterly thoughtless.

I'm part of "the left" and I believe in universal moral principles. To suggest that I don't stand for universal moral principles is both a direct slap in my face, as well as a concession of the framing of the moral debate (and thus of the debate itself) to the right.

You want a universal moral principles? How about, "don't murder hundreds of thousands of civilians in an illegal war of aggression based on outright lies"? How about, "don't torture children"? How about, "don't imprison people for no reason, forever, without due process"?

I hate the neocons because they believe that the ends justify any means: and those means specifically include the mass murder of civilians, torture, violation of international law against aggressive war, use of propaganda, a near-sociopathic lack of empathy for the common person, and a disregard for the rule of law and due process that - truly - can only be described as totalitarian.

So fuck you.
Uhh, Mubarek left on Friday. Let's not all start telling each other how great it is in Egypt now that he is gone. There is plenty of time for this whole North African situation to explode. Let's have this conversation in a year.
The possible way that I can imagine that the Bush's actions spurred these successful secular revolutions was by draining away a small but significant number of religious extremists away from Tunisia and Yemen and into Iraq and Afghanistan.
(According to what records there are, very few jihadists came from Egypt.)…

Without them around to annoy the secular protesters and quell their enthusiasm, the protests could go on longer. The worst part of any protest is when some nutjob hijacks it.

Without them around to be handy scapegoats for the mass political action, the administrations were less able to paint all the protesters as religious extremists and thus crack down on them with impunity.
@41 Couldn't have said it better, thanks.
In related news, the Great Depression ended because of the lax financial regulations of the 20's, the groundwork for the Civil Rights Bill was carefully laid by segregation, and America's involvement in WWII was a direct result of the isolationist policies put forth in the previous decades.
correlation isn't causation. Especially if you're not much of an expert in whatever it is you're talking about.

That's pretty simple, right?
Here's a pretty good NYT article on the lack of stability in Tunisia post-revolution.…

The NeoCon agenda, like it's NeoLib economic counterpart has a habit of speaking out of both sides of it's mouth, SAYING they want "democracy" while coddling despots and dictators that are willing to play ball.

You get the impression from the NYT article that a major part of post-rev Tunisian society is the sorting out of labor inequality. Strikes, unions and the like are pretty firmly outside the agenda of the NeoCon movement. These uprising didn't occur BECAUSE of NeoCon bullshit, but IN SPITE of it.
The only correlation between the April 6 youth movement in Egypt to Iraq was their protest of the war. Satellite TV (namely the growth of Al Jazeera), social media, and many years of discontent/oppression over-against the educated youth play a much larger role in these uprisings than anything the neocons did.
Egyptians finally revolted because at least half of the country is under 30 and none of them had jobs nor any prospect of ever getting jobs under the dictatorship. We'll see if jobs appear under whatever comes next. If they don't, there'll be more unrest if not protests.


President Bush’s Prescience
Peter Wehner 02.11.2011 - 2:54 PM

Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post writes about “Obama and Mubarak and democracy — an accounting.” Kessler’s bottom line? “No matter what was said in private, or how forcefully, the public message sent by the Obama administration over the past two years was that democracy and human rights in Egypt was not a top priority. When given the opportunity to use the biggest megaphone in the world — the voice of the president of the United States — the words were whispered, if said at all.”

Compare this with the record of Mr. Obama’s predecessor — including this often-overlooked speech delivered in 2008 at Sharm el Sheikh, where George W. Bush said: “In order for this economic progress to result in permanent prosperity and an Egypt that reaches its full potential, however, economic reform must be accompanied by political reform. And I continue to hope that Egypt can lead the region in political reform.”

President Bush then elaborated on what became known as the Freedom Agenda — which until now was derided in many quarters, including many liberal quarters. “Some say any state that holds an election is a democracy,” Bush said.

But true democracy requires vigorous political parties allowed to engage in free and lively debate. True democracy requires the establishment of civic institutions that ensure an election’s legitimacy and hold leaders accountable. And true democracy requires competitive elections in which opposition candidates are allowed to campaign without fear or intimidation.

Too often in the Middle East, politics has consisted of one leader in power and the opposition in jail. America is deeply concerned about the plight of political prisoners in this region, as well as democratic activists who are intimidated or repressed, newspapers and civil society organizations that are shut down, and dissidents whose voices are stifled. The time has come for nations across the Middle East to abandon these practices, and treat their people with dignity and the respect they deserve. I call on all nations to release their prisoners of conscience, open up their political debate, and trust their people to chart their future.

America’s 43rd president concluded his remarks by sketching out a vision based on “the timeless principles of dignity and tolerance and justice — and it unites all who yearn for freedom and peace in this ancient land.” Realizing this vision will not be easy, Bush said. It will take time, sacrifice, and resolve. “Yet there is no doubt in my mind,” he said, “that you are up to the challenge — and with your ingenuity and your enterprise and your courage, this historic vision for the Middle East will be realized. May God be with you on the journey, and the United States of America always will be at your side.”

Given events on this day in Egypt, Bush’s words and one of the central commitments of his presidency are worth recalling.
>implying that Thomas Jefferson was the foundational philosopher responsible for capitalism
>implying that the USSR didn't just collapse under its own shoddy management, with the economic and military actions of the USA being secondary causes
>implying that Egypt celebrated the 9/11 attacks, rather than strongly condemning them
>implying that Steve Jobs is the epitome of American technological ingenuity
>implying that Paula Abdul is a man
>implying that "depantsed" is a word
Wasn't Hamas democratically elected? Do the Neocons take credit for Hamas? How about Hugo Chávez?
b) Correlation / causation error.

a) Academic caricature error. There are plenty of cultural studiers who believe in universal human rights, just as there are plenty of people who can and will reach for those rights without needing an assist from so-called Straussians.
@52: Palin is not a talking head; she's a talking body. Republican heads are obsolete. However, she will be our next President.

And yes, Hamas was democratically elected. W was reported to be shocked that that happened. No one else was.
No, the invasion of Iraq did nothing to advance democracy in Tunisia, Egypt or anywhere else. Far, far more credit is due to communications systems that the local authoritarian governments failed to adequately control (Al Jazeera, mobile phones, the Internet, etc.)


One argument the neocons got right is that Muslims of all ethnic stripes (North African, Arab, Persian, whatever), like anyone else, would rather live under a stable, free, minimally corrupt government with individual liberties and rule of law.

The big split has been on the right between the racist wing that just hates A-rabs because they're muslin and are all collectively responsible for 9-11, and the neocons, whose strategy for exporting American values frankly sucks donkey balls, but whose general aims (liberal democracy for everyone) are pretty good.

So points for having their heart in the right place.
I suspect this "revolution across the whole Arab world" is far less inspired by America's ability to topple a despised regime than by her inability, despite enormous expenditure, to prop one up.
Since when do Straussians believe in democracy?
All positive developments in Egypt are entirely coincidental to any Neocon endeavors in Iraq.

Of course, that won't stop them from taking credit. Remember, in politics, the good stuff is because of you; the bad stuff is because of the villains you were elected to replace.
I think the only reasonable answer to the question Brendan poses is "maybe". To unconditionally reject or support is ridiculous, since there are so many variables and no one (even the actual participants) can possibly know and understand every contributing factor. And we'll never know, really, because there is no "control group" of a world without an Iraq war. But questions like these are good and smart to ask. It behooves us to examine every possible idea that could have contributed (even in a wrong-headed way) to a better world. Just as we should keep an open mind, as the Egypt situation develops, about whether what is occurring is necessarily "better". Right now, "the military is in charge". There are so many ways that this could still go wrong.
I don't know if the neo-cons are that crafty and forward-thinking to have a plan of exporting inflation, raising commodities and food prices so high enough people can't afford them and thereby revolt, as a way of "delivering freedom and liberty."
They have been playing Political God with the Middle East for decades. If the unlawful war of aggression against Iraq triggered these revolutions, it was an accident. Viva la Revolution!
"The oil-lust argument, favored by the American left, is weak (given how the U.S. has dealt with Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and other oil-rich nations)."

I disagree. We deal with the Saudis and other OPEC nations because we have to -- it's their oil and they can collude on supply and price targets. I believe our motive was to get our hand on the Iraqi spigot so that we could control the supply as a hedge against OPEC, thus stabilizing the price.

I think it's unfair to give them credit for achieving what was merely a cover story of why we went to war in Iraq. I'd sooner give credit to the founders of Facebook and Twitter.
Iran is not Arab.
@64 Thank you.

But also, in general, we have a very short-sighted view of history. To think that Iraq created a shockwave that finally rippled through to other Arab nations (how many years later? Seven?) as though all these significantly more organized nations were looking to Iraq with hopeful eyes--and seeing what a FANTASTIC job we did over there--and realized they could finally have a chance at that same dream is shallow at best, and racist at worst. Egypt had been struggling against Mubarak for nearly 30 years. Imagine if today we still had Reagan for a president. 30 years of rigged elections and human rights violations. Do you think our inevitable overthrow of such a dictatorship should be credited to another country?
Thought patterns like this are deeply troubling for many reasons. One: it reveals how little Americans know about world history/current events--even or especially those who run our government. I was in North Africa a few years ago. There were protests happening nearly every day--swarming the streets, shouting in front of the Parliament building. And it wasn't one of the countries that's in massive upheaval right now. I can only imagine what Tunisia was like. Just because this happened some time after our invasion of Iraq hardly makes it a consequence of such an event. It's a consequence of years of built-up dissatisfaction.
Two: it removes the victory from the hands of the people. Why can't we just applaud them? Why do we have to take the credit? We didn't lift a fucking finger. We sat back and waited to see if we should change our ambassador. Which is what we needed to do (and for once we did it). But we didn't lose sons or daughters or friends, we weren't the ones facing an uncertain future as tanks began to roll in, we didn't suffer the beatings of thugs, we didn't risk imprisonment or pain or death as we shouted and rioted for days and nights while our lives were placed on hold in favor of a greater cause. We watched it happen on our couches. We went to work. We checked the news when we got home. We knew our children were safe. We slept in our beds at night. Give them this victory. It's their nation--they've earned it.
Three: it removes their humanity. Do we think we're the only ones capable of figuring out that living under a dictatorship sucks? Do we think these people believed rigged elections and suppression of free speech were super-awesome-fun-time until we invaded Iraq? They're not a bunch of mindless savages, grunting and cheering when the superior race rolls in to make their life easier. They're humans--independent, thoughtful, powerful, dignified--capable of suffering, of joy, of taking action, of creating justice, of accepting responsibility, of being wrong, of being right. Why does this even need to be said?
Bunch of halfwits, let the middle easterners worry about their Allah loving desert piss stain countries. The Moslem world only flourished when western europe and east asia were going through dark ages. Fuck them and their backwards culture. We need to stop supporting the fascist prick dictators we prop up.

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