August 05, 2002

Stability, Schmability Once again, Mark

Stability, Schmability

Once again, Mark Steyn has the right idea on Middle Eastern "stability":

Sadly, a U.S. invasion of Iraq "would threaten the whole stability of the Middle East" -- or so Amr Moussa, Secretary-General of the Arab League, told the BBC on Tuesday. Amr, Amr, Amr. Your talking-points are missing the point: it's supposed to destabilize the Middle East. The stability of the Middle East is unique in the non-democratic world and it's the lack of change in Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt that's turned them into a fetid swamp of terrorist bottom-feeders.

First things first: It's not strictly necessary for a new regime in Iraq to be better than its predecessor, only different. That sends the important message that whose fingernails you rip out in the dungeon of the Presidential palace is your affair but start monkeying with us and you've written your last bodice-ripper. That's the first and critical Anglo-American war aim.

But if a more or less civilized regime were to take over in Baghdad, it would have a tremendously destabilizing effect. By "civilized," I'm thinking no higher than a General Musharraf type, someone who's not genocidal and has greater ambitions for the treasury than the anthrax program. Were a local Musher to surface, he'd quickly be pumping an extra couple million gallons of oil a day and thus adding to the woes of the House of Saud, for whom low gas prices means rethinking the gold-plated toilet in your pad on the Riviera. The Saudis have figured that out, which is why they want the old Saddamite to stay in power indefinitely.

We all know it's going to happen. The question is when. Steyn says August 11. Really? Six days from now? That should be soon enough. Mark your calendar, but don't hold your breath...

Posted by Dr. Frank at August 5, 2002 12:39 PM | TrackBack