Here are a few nuggets:
* In Iraq, two rival Communist parties, along with Social Democrats and other center-left groups, supported the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and continue to play a significant role in the new pluralist system. They are resolutely opposed to a premature withdrawal of American and allied forces, as demanded by the U.S. Congress. ...We're winning.
BEFORE the U.S.-led inter ventions in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 and 2003, much of the Middle Eastern Left shared the views of its U.S. and European counterparts with regard to America.
"We looked to the Left in the West and imitated it," says Awad Nasir, one of Iraq's best-known poets and a life-long Communist. "We heard from the United States and Western Europe that being Left meant being anti-American. So we were anti-American. And then we saw Americans coming from the other side of the world to save us from Saddam Hussein - something that our leftist friends and the Soviet Union would never contemplate." ...
IRAQ'S parties of the Left were shocked when the new So cialist government in Spain decided to withdraw from the U.S.-led coalition in 2004. "We had hoped that with a party of the Left in power in Madrid we would get more support against the Islamofascists, not a withdrawal," says Aziz al-Haj, the veteran Iraqi communist leader.
Tareq al-Hashemi, vice president of Iraq, has also gambled his impeccable progressive record on the success of the pluralist experiment in his country. "Our enemy is al Qaeda, not the United States," he says.
Jumblatt, the Lebanese leader, says he realized that his life-long anti-Americanism had been misplaced when he saw "long lines of people, waiting to vote in Iraq, in the first free election in an Arab country. ...SKIMMING through the Middle Eastern press these days can produce unexpected results. It's not rare to see a virulently anti-American article by an American or Western European leftist - and, alongside it on the same page, a pro-American article from an Arab, Iranian or Afghan progressive figure.