We did the right thing by deposing Saddam Hussein. The Arab Middle East needed one last chance. Iraq is it. If Iraqi democracy fails, there will be no hope, whatsoever, for the Arab world.
The twit is preblaming the Iraqis for the inevitable relapse into despotism, but his statement is also of a piece with the Rumsfeldian hysterics who hype every hype to show Why We Must Win in Iraq. (In fact, the two dovetail nicely, since when we appoint the new Saddam to suppress the "terrorists", the excuse will be that anything to win is justified because the stakes are so high.) The hype is necessary to distract from the fact that the stated rationale for the invasion and occupation is nonsense in every detail. Iraq had nothing to do with jihadi extremism before the invasion; now that we're there, every day we only exacerbate the problem; every realistic outcome - the installation of our puppet strongman or the current civil war blossoming into regional war - will make things even worse; and there is no and never was a chance that the outcome would be a multiethnic, rights-protecting representative democracy.
Among many other reasons democracy was not going to magically break out is that Iraq is not a real country, but a colonial creation intentionally made fractious precisely to prevent social and political cohesion and only held together by a brutal tyrant. From the array of alchemist's formulas one could choose to transmute this into democratic gold, Bush was predisposed to select the worst, and just expect the Iraqis to sort it out. Americans don't do nation-building, Bush said repeatedly before he lost to Gore, when what he meant was Americans like him don't do it, so it's probably not surprising that when forced his plan amounted to a superpower drive-by. Although I was prepared to believe Bush's people used the democracy rationale as a smokescreen and really always intended just to install a friendly dictator and create new U.S. military bases, the evidence is that they apparently believed their own hype. A week after the statue of Saddam fell, the senior military commanders were told to expect to pull out within six months; as someone said, it was sort of like: ding-dong, the witch is dead, the munchkins are happy, and we fly away in our balloon.
As if providing further evidence of their idiocy, right-wingers sometimes spin this to accuse liberals of having a racist belief that Arabs and Muslims can't live democratically. It's interesting that in reality, it's the opposite. The racist belief at work here is that Americans can instill small-r republicanism in Iraqis at the point of a gun, like some kind of superior alien beings who arrive in their spacecraft bearing a wondrous gift for the ignorant earthlings, and find they have to knock heads just to get them to accept it. The real chance of freedom and democracy in the Middle East is for the combined, long-term actions of thousands of educated, pro-western moderate Muslims and Arabs to spread their beliefs. This process will take a generation, and will never work if they are seen as our mouthpieces. All Bush and Rumsfeld and crew have done is made it harder for those people to succeed.