Word was spread about

Word was spread about today that the president would be giving a major speech tomorrow about democracy in the Middle East. It turns out that it’ll be at a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the National Endowment for Democracy.

Everybody’s for democracy in the Middle East these days, so far as it goes. But the question isn’t what you’re for so much as what and who you’re against. And the word that was being bandied about was that the president would say that the longstanding US policy of supporting the region’s autocracies had failed and would be ended.

That’s the kernel of the neocon faith (or rather what we might call the Neocon Faith 3.0 or 3.2 or something like that) and there’s more than a little to be said for it.

But who would the president call out? The Saudis? The Egyptians? We’ve always been against the anti-American autocracies. How about the pro-American ones? At the current moment, in a tough battle in Iraq, that would certainly be the all-or-nothing approach.

The AP has a run-down out now. And it seems it’s going to be a rather more tepid affair.

Still, I think this speech will be worth reading, if only to get a glimpse into the factional in-fighting in the White House today.