A political arabesque in Iraq

New York Times

…Yes, the US invasion of Iraq made America some new enemies, but it also has triggered a huge debate about reform in the Arab world, said Ammar Abdulhamid, who helps run DarEmar, a pro-reform NGO in Syria. ‘‘For some people it forced the reform issue, because they said, ‘Let’s change ourselves before the Americans change us’,’’ noted Abdulhamid. Some Arab liberals want to use the US presence to pressure their governments. Some regimes are feeling very vulnerable and believe the only way to stave off the Americans is to be seen as working on reforms. But one way or another, ‘‘the Iraqi issue is forcing the issue of reform on everyone,’’ Abdulhamid said.