Paul Wolfowitz argues that the ouster of Saddam has had a ‘shaming effect’ on the Arab world.

“I think that already to some extent the magnitude of the crimes of that regime and those images of people pulling down a statue and celebrating the arrival of American troops is having a shaming effect throughout the region,” Mr. Wolfowitz said in an interview with The Washington Times.

He specifically mentioned Syria and Iran, both U.S.-designated state sponsors of terrorism, as places where political reform is needed. He said Iran has the potential for a democratic revolution, but he sees less of a chance in Ba’athist-ruled Syria.

“In terms of the larger picture, I think they’re like several other countries on a sort of dead-end course,” he said. “They’re less immediately threatening to us than some of those countries, but I think they’re going to have to face that opportunity.”

For the United States in a postwar Middle East, he said, “It does seem to me there is an opportunity now to demonstrate that we are who we say we are, and we come as liberators and not as occupiers.”

The Pentagon’s No. 2 official, a highly influential thinker in conservative quarters, called the allied ouster of Ba’ath Party rule in Iraq an “enormously important event.”

Interesting. May it be so.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.