Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Happy 90th

...to Bernard Lewis. Arguably, the greatest Orientalist of the last 100 years, he has been a voice of reason in the cacophany that is the 'discussion' of Iraq.

He has written that Islam today needs a dose of democracy; and while that dose would ideally have come from within, its introduction, however effected, is beneficial.

He may not feel that the invasion was the best idea or that it has been prosecuted particularly effectively to date, but, he recognizes that the rationale behind it was and is valid - and that it may well have been necessary - for us.

While George Santayana said it first, Lewis puts it better:

"...make no mistake, those who are unwilling to confront the past will be unable to understand the present and unfit to face the future."


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