One blog ends, another begins

Jonathan Chait of The New Republic has shut down his weblog, “Diary of a Dean-o-Phobe.” As he wrote in his farewell post, “My work here is done.”

Meanwhile New Republic writer Spencer Ackerman has launched a new blog called “Iraq’d” and aimed at people like me: pro-war liberals who are increasingly disturbed by the Bush administration’s blundering and half-hearted efforts at democratic nation-building in Iraq.

After all, if we believe that Iraqi democracy would be a model for the region, then the converse is also true: If we leave behind a failing state in Iraq, then we provide Middle Eastern autocrats with a pretext for cracking down on the reformers and liberals in their midst, since they can point to the chaos in Baghdad as the likely fruit of democracy. And since Islamist terrorism feeds in part on Middle Eastern tyranny, then we’re in a lot of trouble. Iraq’d will highlight developments in Iraq and the Middle East to call attention to this danger.

I hope Ackerman’s blog achieves its objective as well as Chait’s. But it’s a much taller order.