The upshot is that in many places around the globe, people are asking if President Bush "was right." It's a good question, but imprecise. Right about what? He wasn't right about weapons of mass destruction; nor was he right about Iraq's links to terrorists. Those were the two top reasons given for the American invasion of Iraq. To find in the new push for democracy a justification for the invasion is quite a stretch.
But more generally, Bush was right about one centrally important thing: the possibilities for democracy in a volatile region ruled mostly by despots. Writing in Newsweek, Fareed Zakaria said Bush's frequently expressed view has played a powerful role in stimulating the nascent and still very tenuous spread of democracy. So even though it's still early days, give Bush his due; when most experts believed democracy stood no chance in the region, he did. The power of that belief has had an effect. You might say Bush spoke truth to despotic power.
Bush's words, however, might have done the job without invading Iraq -- because a host of other influences also are driving the Middle East toward reform.
They then followed with a list of reasons why the Middle East is going democratic without any help from the actions of the US. At least they spared us a lecture about how Kerry would have done it better.