Sunday, January 15

"SEE, DEMOCRACIES ARE PEACEFUL"

Mark Helprin blows the lid off Bush's contention that "democracies are peaceful countries."

Other than Israel, the major countries of the region that are the most democratic are Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon and Kuwait. If democracy in Turkey and Pakistan could be drawn as a horse, it would have to have a soldier in the saddle. In Lebanon, it would have a Syrian in the saddle.

And the more Turkey and Pakistan approach the genuine democracy to which American policy would direct them, the more Islamist they will become and the more they will want to do exactly the opposite of what we desire. The more Kuwait democratizes too, the more Islamist it becomes. In the 2003 elections, only 20% of contested seats went to neither traditionalists nor Islamists, and of late the democratically nascent governments of Iraq and Kuwait have had to erect a fence along their border to prevent Kuwaiti youth from crossing to join the insurgency.

Not only does the U.S. expend a great deal of effort to usher politically impure states into a form of popular sovereignty that will not stop them from acting inimically to our interests, but in distancing itself from authoritarian states that are willing to work with us, it forgoes potentially critical advantages. For the pleasure of displaying our virtue, we may someday suffer innumerable casualties in a terrorist attack that a compromised state might have helped us to prevent.

In foreign policy, carelessness and confusion often lead to tragedy. Thus, a maxim chosen to guide the course of a nation should be weighed in light of history and common sense.

Or is that too much to ask?


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1 Comments:

Blogger mikevotes said...

The US is a democracy, right? Didn't we just invade a country that posed no threat at all?

Mike

10:35 AM  

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