In 2001, in the wake of the September 11th attacks, Jonah Goldberg wrote that terror attacks in the name of Islamic fundamentalism were not a true challenge to the spread of liberal democracy, but the last-gasp death throes of those who opposed democracy's inevitable advance.
Now, with election fraud reversed in Ukraine, fair elections completed in Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories, and another election on the way in Iraq, Goldberg argues persuasively that we are finally witnessing what Francis Fukuyama famously called "the end of history": Mankind's universal recognition of liberal democracy as the best way to organize society.
The expansive, decent version of democracy will come to the Middle East and the rest of the world — eventually. If the Iraqi elections fail, even their failure will reinforce the desire for successful elections. Many complain that in Iraq the process is too bloody or too expensive, but these critics are determined to make the perfect the enemy of the good. At the end of the tunnel we, or our children, will look back on America's role as the catalyst for democracy, and we'll be proud that we were on the right side of history and its end.Fukuyama coined his phrase back in 1990, so the end of history is taking almost as long to play out as the end of The Return of the King.
But we're getting there.