One difference is that the Islamic fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia and Egypt were not democratically elected. Still, the Times said that "something similar" happened in Iran when "domestic pressures" installed the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. By "domestic pressures" in Iran, I gather the Times meant "the Carter presidency."
Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Trudy Rubin claimed to be talking about "grim Iraq realities," explaining to her readers that if elections were held, the new Iraqi government "will likely be dominated by religious parties. If the economy stays bad, radical Islamic parties could do well." So you can see how leaving the tyrannical Hussein dynasty (slogan: "We're the rape-room people!") in place was preferable to that.
Winning the category of Most Wrong Predictions in the Fewest Words, Joe Conason predicted in the Sept. 27, 2004, New York Observer: "a series of horrifically violent confrontations in Iraq's cities, a postponement of the January elections, a wider call-up of National Guard and Reserve units, or even a renewed military draft." And if Bush won a second term, Conason said: "Beware the 'November surprise' that will begin to bring home the true costs of his feckless adventure."
Conason's feeble litany of harebrained predictions reads like a haiku of bum steers. No increase in "horrific" violence, no postponement of elections, no draft, no "November surprise." (OK, there was one "November surprise" ? but only for the Democrats. It happened on Nov. 2.)
Winning the category of Most Wrong Predictions, Lifetime Achievement Award, Katrina vanden Heuvel (Queen of the May at the fun-loving Nation magazine) said invading Iraq would lead to "more terrorist retaliation, undermine the fight against al-Qaida and make America less secure and possibly unleash those very weapons of mass destruction into the hands of rogue terrorists in Iraq."
What weapons, Katrina? (Katrina lied, kids died!) Hey! Wait a minute! How can rogue terrorists in Iraq detonate bombs? They're all too busy flying kites with their children! Hasn't she seen "Fahrenheit 9-11"?
After we invaded Iraq, Katrina predicted the U.S. would stay in Iraq as a colonial power ? as the only nonimperialist superpower in the history of the world is wont to do. As we paved the way for elections, she said, "You know, if there are elections in Iraq, it's very likely it will not be secular democracy."
But it's not fair to quote Katrina. She still thinks the Soviet Union's planned economy failed because the farmers had 70 years of bad weather. Liberals' current prediction is that Hillary will be able to do a planned economy right.