Skip to comments.Here We Go Again
Posted on 12/10/2003 6:04:23 AM PST by Theodore R.
Here we go again
Posted: December 10, 2003 1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2003 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
A close read of President Bush's November addresses at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington and at the Whitehall Palace in London leads a traditionalist almost to despair.
George Bush did not write this democratist drivel. This is the kind of messianic rhetoric he probably never heard before he became president. Who is putting these words in his mouth? For if George Bush truly intends to lead a "global democratic revolution," and convert not only Iraq but the whole Middle East to democracy, he has ceased to be a conservative and we are headed for endless conflicts, disappointments, disillusionment and tragedy.
At London, he called a "commitment to the global expansion of democracy" both "the alternative to instability and to hatred and terror" and "the third pillar of our security." But before he wagers our security on a crusade for democracy, Bush should ask the hard questions no one seems to have asked before he invaded Iraq.
Where in the Constitution is he empowered to go around the world destabilizing governments? Can he truly believe that by hectoring such autocracies as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, America is more secure? Who comes to power if Mubarak goes in Cairo, the Saudi monarchy falls or Musharaff is ousted in Pakistan? If memory serves, the last wave of popular revolutions in the region gave us Nasser, Khadafi, Saddam and the Ayatollah.
With $200 billion sunk into democratizing Iraq and Afghanistan, how many more wars does Bush think Americans will support before they decide to throw the interventionist Republicans out?
Where did he get the idea we are insecure because the Islamic world is not democratic? The Islamic world has never been democratic. Yet, before we intervened massively there, our last threat came from Barbary pirates. Lest we forget, Muhammad Atta and his comrades did not plot their atrocities in the Sunni Triangle, but in Hamburg and Delray Beach.
Surveys show that Islamic people bear a deep resentment of U.S. dominance of their region and our one-sided support for Israel. Interventionism is not America's solution, it is America's problem.
It was our earlier intervention in the Gulf War and our huge footprint on the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia that lead directly to 9-11. They were over here because we were over there.
If one-man, one-vote comes to Pakistan, what do we do if that nuclear nation supports a return of the Taliban? What do we do if the Iraqi regime that takes power after free elections tells us to pack up and get out, and declares the liberation of Kuwait and its return to the embrace of the motherland to be as vital to Baghdad as the return of Taiwan is to Beijing?
Freedom, the president said, "must be chosen and defended by those who choose it." Exactly. Why not then let these Islamic peoples choose it on their own timetable and defend it themselves?
It is "cultural condescension," says Bush, "to assume the Middle East cannot be converted to democracy. ... Perhaps the most helpful change we can make is to change in our own thinking."
But if 22 of 22 Arab states are non-democratic, this would seem to suggest that this soil is not particularly conducive to growing the kind of democracies we raise in upper New England. This may be mulish thinking to the progressives at NED, but it may also be common sense.
What support is there in history for the view that as we meddle in the affairs of foreign nations, we advance our security? How would we have responded in the 19th century if Britain had declared a policy of destabilizing the American Union until Andrew Jackson abolished slavery?
"Liberty is both the plan of Heaven for humanity and the best hope for progress here on earth." Is it? Before democracy became our god, we used to believe that salvation was Heaven's plan for humanity, and Jesus Christ was the way, the truth and the life.
The neocons have made democracy a god, but why is George W. Bush falling down and worshiping their golden calf?
The last time we heard rhetoric like Bush's at NED and Whitehall Castle was the last time we were bogged down in a war. LBJ declared that America's goal was far loftier than saving South Vietnam. We were going to build a "Great Society on the Mekong."
Like Woodrow Wilson, Bush has been converted to the belief that democracy is the cure for mankind's ills. But our Founding Fathers did not even believe in democracy. They thought they were creating a republic a republic that would be secure by remaining free of the wars of the blood-soaked continent their fathers had left behind. How wrong they were.
The guy who said it best was the one who criticized the Clinton administration for engaging in nation-building all over the globe. But that wasn't the same George W. Bush who is being quoted here by Buchanan, now was it?
He and Grover Norquist have been drinking from the same bottle again.
Crafty evil neocons, pulling the strings of poor dumb trusting George.
Hey Pat, it's REALLY stale.
I would suggest to Pat that it's not cricket to nuke a nation for the transgressions of it's maniacal dictator. But a democracy you can hold liable for their misdeeds. As long as the ME is in the stranglehold of strongmen and crackpots, it just wouldn't be right to blast the bejeezus out of innocent folks.
That's a counter argument to Pat's position.
IIRC, the President has the Constitutional power to decide and conduct foreign policy. He is also made CinC by the same authority.
It's OK to disagree with how the president conducts foreign policy, but only an idiot questions his authority to do so.
All of the above.
In the vernacular it's known as a "wake up call."
We believed we could live and let live.
We found out that the rest of the world believes in live and let die.
We decided it was in our best interests to change the minds of the rest of the world.
The advancement of freedom and democracy is a different thing entirely from the amorphous "nation building." You may still disagree with it, but you should not pretend it is the same thing.
A truly valid question is how asking Taiwan to "back off its attempt to become free" from the world's most oppressive regieme is considered the advancement of freedom and democracy. If you want to call W.'s stand there hypocritical, I would have a hard time arguing with you.
That might explain why the United States would engage in military action against a country like Afghanistan, but not against Iraq.
And even if Iraq were known to have been directly involved in 9/11, this idiotic talk about "spreading democracy" is the wrong way to go about it. In fact, by the time this is all over we are going to learn that the United States really has no interest in democratic Middle Eastern governments -- because we're going to decide that ruthless dictators like Saddam Hussein are preferable to the kind of freely-elected leaders most of these nations are going to produce.
Aren't you really talking about
Someone tell Pat that Father Coughlin is on the radio.
Be Seeing You,
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