Tuesday, December 20, 2005

On how we're doing in Iraq 

The emminent historian of the middle east Bernard Lewis has some thoughts on this, as reported on by Mr. Nordlinger (yes, him again=):
Frederick Kempe of the Wall Street Journal conducted an amazing interview — an amazingly wonderful interview — with the great Middle East historian Bernard Lewis (a speaker on a recent National Review cruise, incidentally). An article about the interview is on the web for free — here — but the Q&A itself is not, I regret to say. Try to obtain it, is my recommendation.

Anyway, I'd like to quote just one question-and-answer. No, two. Kempe asked, "What is your general view of the situation in Iraq and the Mideast? Are you growing more or less confident of positive change?"

Answered Lewis, "I would describe my position as one of cautious optimism. My optimism derives from events in the Mideast and my caution derives from observing the United States. [Lewis is British, I might note.] The situation in Iraq is vastly better than what you would know from reading the media, which really do often present a misleading picture of what's happening. In many, many ways, Iraqi life has improved enormously ..."

Earlier, Kempe had asked, "If victory [against the terrorists] is so clear, why aren't Americans feeling that way?" Lewis answered, "My specialization is the Middle East and not the Middle West."

Isn't that marvelous?
I'll let that stand for itself, since you already know how I feel about these matters.

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