This article by David Ignatius has some fascinating insights. Ignatius is far from a neo-conservative, but he has come around to understanding the power of freedom, even in the Middle East, a region all of the cynics said was not ready for democracy. The nut paragraphs are:
“Jumblatt dresses like an ex-hippie, in jeans and loafers, but he maintains the exquisite manners of a Lebanese aristocrat. Over the years, I’ve often heard him denouncing the United States and Israel, but these days, in the aftermath of Hariri’s death, he’s sounding almost like a neoconservative. He says he’s determined to defy the Syrians until their troops leave Lebanon and the Lahoud government is replaced.
“It’s strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq,” explains Jumblatt. “I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world.” Jumblatt says this spark of democratic revolt is spreading. “The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it.”
Does anybody else see the amazing process of freedom spreading worldwide?
Just a few scriptures to share with you:
D&C 1:23: “That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world.”
D&C 90:11: “For it shall come to pass in that day, that every man shall hear the fulness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language, through those who are ordained unto this power, by the administration of the Comforter, shed forth upon them for the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
D&C 45:9: “And even so I have sent mine everlasting covenant into the world, to be a light to the world, and to be a standard for my people, and for the Gentiles to seek to it, and to be a messenger before my face to prepare the way before me.”
How can the people who are ready to seek to the fulness know about it unless there is some way for them to hear it? This means that the governments and cultural systems that are preventing this from happening must be done away with so the gospel can be preached. The process in the Middle East got a big jump-start with the US invasion of Iraq, but momentum is building for the people there to carry out the revolution themselves. Don’t be surprised if five to 10 years from now most of the countries in the Middle East are democracies or heading in that direction. Also don’t be surprised if five to 10 years later missionaries begin finally to travel to Middle Eastern countries. I’ve heard a lot of cynicism about this issue (“you don’t understand how different the Middle East is, etc, etc.”). But the Lord has a wonderful way of overcoming cynicism. It’s going to be an amazing thing to watch.