One of the Guardian’s anti-war columnists Jonathan Freedland surveys the changes in the Middle East and concludes:
This leaves opponents of the Iraq war in a tricky position, even if the PM is not about to rub our faces in the fact. Not only did we set our face against a military adventure which seems, even if indirectly, to have triggered a series of potentially welcome side effects; we also stood against the wider world-view that George Bush represented. What should we say now?
First, we ought to admit that the dark cloud of the Iraq war may have carried a silver lining. We can still argue that the war was wrong-headed, illegal, deceitful and too costly of human lives – and that its most important gain, the removal of Saddam, could have been achieved by other means. But we should be big enough to concede that it could yet have at least one good outcome.
Second, we have to say that the call for freedom throughout the Arab and Muslim world is a sound and just one – even if it is a Bush slogan and arguably code for the installation of malleable regimes. Put starkly, we cannot let ourselves fall into the trap of opposing democracy in the Middle East simply because Bush and Blair are calling for it. Sometimes your enemy’s enemy is not your friend.