With regard to the unexpectedly rapid spread of pro-liberal democracy agitation across the Middle East and Soviet Central Asia, Orrin Judd asks
It would be helpful for the President to back off the Arab world a bity and turn up the pressure on Castro, Chavez, Kim, Mugabe, Burma, etc. Make it clear that this is a universal phenomenon.
I have to disagree. I think it far more important to keep the Middle East and particularly Iraq on the front burner in terms of attention and effort. I’ve seen far too many projects that could have succeeded ruined because the managers decided that since area A was going so well, they should focus on areas B and C, leading to the failure of the effort in all three areas because A, while looking good, had not yet reach self sustaining take off. OJ is making the same mistake here as he did in his review of The Foundation Trilogy. While the broad outline of the End of History may well by psycho-historically determined, the ebb and flow of events in the real world still require active management by either the Second Foundation or the Bush Administration.
Moreover, I have found it very helpful in these sort of situations (where one has a large project with similar problems in different areas) is to really get one thing right. This not only proves the principle that it can be done, but provides a model and inspiration for the other areas. There are always complications, set backs and the brutal correction of mistaken apprehensions between getting on track and pushing the product out the door. A concentration in the Middle East leading to a better outcome will make the eventual “why not us?” question all that more powerful.