In lamenting that the late Boris Yeltsin failed to create a truly democratic government in post-Soviet Russia, I wonder if it occurs to Charles Krauthammer--a vigorous defender of going to war in Iraq--that Russia's experience should have provided a lesson for the Bush administration as it prepared to topple Saddam Hussein. Building democracy in a place where it had never existed is not easy. Imposing it from the outside, through force of arms, may be damn near impossible.
Perhaps a more capable leader could have guided Russia from totalitarianism to democracy. And perhaps a more capable leader could have brought democracy to Iraq. But to paraphrase a great man, you go to war with the president you have, not the president you want to have.