Thursday, February 24, 2005

WaPo: "Beirut's Berlin Wall"

As I've been reporting all along, the assassination of Rafiq Hariri, like the Boston Massacre, marked a watershed in the movement toward democracy in the middle east. Yesterday, David Ignatius of the Washington Post quotes Walid Jumblatt, head of the Druze Muslims:
"It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq," explains Jumblatt. "I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world." Jumblatt says this spark of democratic revolt is spreading. "The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it."
That swelling in your breast that you felt when you saw the ink-stained fingers of the Iraqis raised in triumph was a portent. Hearts and minds are changing. Liberty is on the march.