Brian Whitaker in The Guardian—where else?—writes under the heading “Fig-leaf Freedom”:

“portrayals of the election as ‘historic’ are way off mark”

Unlike the election, Brian’s insights will ring through the ages like Orwell’s. He is, after all, the Middle East specialist who wrote of the US Presidential election:

“What interests Arabs most is America’s attitude towards the Palestinian people.”

Mark Steyn (who’s a great deal cleverer and writes better English) has some things to say on the subject of history, about “the Arab street” (whose views rich, white, Western pundits in free democracies divine with such frequency and confidence), and about predictions.

You may think the election in Iraq was a triumph for reason and freedom over the forces of darkness, but, in harmony with Whitaker, I should point out that this minor event was, in fact, little more than a chance for Internet pamphleteers like me to continue our gloating. Nick may have a beautiful family and a dazzling career, but he was foolish enough to bet against my geopolitical instincts. I made a wager with him long before the war even started. Yesterday the people of Iraq won that bet with a few months to spare. Their victory over motley murderers—a victory that naturally followed that of the US-led coalition over a cowardly tyrant—finds its true meaning only through my evaluation of it. Steyn and I were wrong about Bin Laden, but, thanks to millions of brave people, thousands of them now dead, Nick owes me twenty quid.