The "Town Square" Test

But the best quote in the book comes from Condi Rice. She said these words in her Senate confirmation hearing for secretary of state:

"The world should apply what Natan Sharansky calls the 'town square test': if a person cannot walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm, then that person is living in a fear society, not a free society."

By that measure, alas, Iraq is still a fear society, interspersed by anarchy and terror, with merely the promise of freedom. I still feel that liberation from Saddam was a necessary, noble, important act. But, as Hobbes fully understood, there can be no freedom if there is no order. And Bush ensured that order would never be imposed in Iraq, because he persistently refused to send sufficient troops to provide it. That's the tragedy we now face; and the past mistake we have now somehow to rectify.