Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Those of us living in the post-communist world should be paying special attention to events in Ukraine, Lebanon,
Kyrgystan, maybe even Egypt, and of course Iraq. Future historians will probably see these events -- the wave may have started with the anti-Milosevic street party in Belgrade, 2000 -- as a "second wave" of "Velvet Revolutions" following 1989. People like Vaclav Havel should and hopefully will get the credit.

Of course, so will George W. Bush, and I'll certainly settle for that. Having doing everything else wrong, he's bound to do a few big things right. In Georgia, Ukraine and (hopefully) Kyrgystan, international election monitors from the OSCE (including my roommate) also played a huge role. Egyptian democracy is a bit of a farce, as Slate points out. On the other hand, the street demonstrations in Lebanon would probably not be happening were it not for the elections in Iraq. (On my third hand, Bush initially resisted having elections so soon, until pressure from Ayatollah Al-Sistani made him see the error of his ways. But we'll let that slide. He was also under a lot of pressure to delay the elections and didn't.)

Also, please note that the much-hoped-for revolution in Kyrgystan already has a name: The Tulip Revolution. Come on, come on, give some credit where it's due...


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