DEMOCRACY PROMOTION. Seems to me that Andy McCarthy is asking the right questions. Though democracy promotion makes for great and stirring rhetoric, it's really worth having a serious conversation about when and in which forms it conflicts with America's interests and the war on terror. It's testament to this administration's fundamental inability to shed the Cold War mindset that they seem to have avoided any actual thinking over the interplay between a transformative project to change the Middle East's regimes and the immediate imperative to calm anti-American sentiment and assure domestic safety and regional stability. Nevertheless, if Bush had come before the country in 2003 and explained that his plan to fight terror involved instituting an unstable Islamic regime in Iraq and making Hezbollah and Hamas the governments of Lebanon and Palestine, I'm not so certain reelection would have lay in his future.

--Ezra Klein