From the Frying Pan to the Fire?

The Lebanese may indeed be under the thumb of the Syrians, but it looks like quite a few of them are happy to be there.

A few hundred thousand turned up in a huge plaza in Beirut (search) to demonstrate for the continued presence of Syrian troops in Lebanon. By the way, these demonstrators were the supporters of Hezbollah (search) — the terror organization which is trying to morph into something approaching a normal political party.

Somehow that seems a bit of a stretch from where we sit. Hezbollah is, after all, an armed group engaged in armed struggle against Israel. It's engaged in suicide attacks as well as rocket attacks and is said to be an arm of the Iranian mullahs. And, evidently, the arm of the Iranian mullahs in Lebanon is protected by the Syrian Army.

So who wins in this struggle? Is it the Hezbollah demonstrators? If there were a fair and free vote tomorrow — certified by the official keeper of worldwide elections, Jimmy Carter — would the terrorists get the most votes?

That's the thing with this democracy movement. You could get people elected who hate us more than the last guys hated us. In other words, we could go from the frying pan to the fire.

Well, fine. At least we'd know; at least we'd know we tried. And if we have to bomb a democracy back to the Stone Age because it was sticking with its roots and sending terrorists to attack us, we could bomb it back to the Stone Age with a clean conscience.

You wouldn't have a bunch of Ward Churchills (search) on the air saying it was our fault and that if we'd only given democracy a chance, things would have worked out. We'd miss those people decrying the American propensity to attack first and reason later.

Look, this Bush democracy stuff is working for the moment. Nobody says it has to go perfect. Usama bin Laden could get elected somewhere. In fact, in two or three countries we call friends, I think he'd take the top spot in a landslide.

We would just have to console ourselves that democracy has given us a clear picture of exactly where our enemies stand. And we can use that picture in our targeting computers.

That's My Word.

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