The blog of The Antient and Honourable
John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society
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posted by Craig Westover | 2/20/2006 05:06:00 PM
Under the Shaw, Iran had a modern Western type economy, with wide prosperity, Western styles, liberated women, good higher education, and enlightened attitudes toward modern secular life. Didn't evolve into liberal democracy did it? Didn't guide people away from middle ages religous thinking did it? Part of the success of the Islamist revolt of the Seventies (outside of Carter's help) was based on growing disaffection with Western "modernism". Methinks Fukuyama has the cart before the horse (like most Paleo's). He also obviously has not read Tommy Franks' book or he would not say such uninformed things about our long term plans in Iraq.The Administration knew from the first proposal submitted by Franks that they were looking at a five to ten year time line, and that one of the biggest risks they faced was what Franks called "catastrophic success". In other words, winning before Iraq was defeated as a nation. Does anyone think that either Japan or Germany would have been so docile if they had not first been pounded into the pavement? A determined foe gives up fighting when he can't get up off the ground anymore. A country quits when it sees no other course but total destruction. George Bush said in his speech on 9/12 that the war on terror would go on for decades and long out last his own administration. And so it will, like it or not. Islam is not going away, and it is not modernising unless it is forced to.
Rich Lowry has been talking about (but not endorsing) what he feels to be the most respectable alternative to nation building: rather than supporting "our son's of bitches", which we know doesn't work, or isolationism (ignoring Islam won't make them ignore us), instead he sees a growing movement of "to hell with them hawks."The motto: Rubble doesn't make trouble. That is, the way to deal with a dictator like Saddam is not to cut a deal with him or ignore him, but get in, kill him, do a lot of damage, and get out while leaving a card stating that if the next guy in charge offends us like his predecessor, we will do the same thing again. That's certainly what I will endorse if I become convinced nation building isn't worth it - something I am anything but willing to concede at this point. Nation building in Iraq, from what I can tell, is working.
I agree, even if it is a rough choice out of options. I think it is rough more in the short term than the long. Also, in Franks' book he speaks of the media wringing their wrists over the concept of his becoming the "MacArthur of Iraq". In retrospect, that may in fact have been the best road to take. Think about it.
I agree with Air Marshall, Fukuyama is asking for results too soon. In fact it could be decades before Iraq emerges as a stable democracy. However, Iraq today is much better for America and the world than it was in 2002 - people forget that Iraq is no longer run by Saddam Hussein, an individual who would be raking in over $40 billion a year in cash to use for his own personal purposes - mostly for bad things. Yes there is a lot of violence there. But, it is the kid of violence that we can manage, it is not the type of strategic threat of WMD and massive armies and cash that Saddam presented.The famous argument that "democracy cannot be imposed" is true, except that democracy is always imposed, and is generally almost always imposed through revolution and war with the assistance of a foreign power. Organic democracy is mostly a myth. What we are trying to do is get the democrats in Iraq to impose democracy on their people; i.e. to get their people to participate and come to expect it. They need help. And we should give it to them.it is already true in Iraq that democratic legitmacy is becoming an important point of discussion among Iraqi politicians both sunni and shia. They argue over who got more votes from what district etc.... The more this becomes engrained the more difficult it will be for a dictator take power outside the democracy. Hitler took power in Germany by using violence and constant protests and intimidation. That Hitler took power through the vote, is a myth. Hitler never got more than 39% of the vote. These same forces are at work in Iraq. We should fight against them.
Sloanasaurus, HEAR! HEAR!We forget where our democracy came from, or how we got independence, and where the help came from and why it came.
Frontline did a story last night on the "Insurgancy" that was quite positive in it's treatment of American troops and American goals and accomplishments in Iraq. I was astounded. It even showed local Iraqis being happy and friendly with American troops! Sheese!
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