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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Is promoting Middle East Democracy a good idea?

Recently, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently stated that it is his government's policy to pursue the destruction of the Israeli state and nation. It's about time the Europeans follow the lead of official American policy since 1979 and join with us and pursue sanctions against Iran. Sanctions do work, as the Iraqi experience demonstrates if they are enforced to the letter of the law. Iran has alo pursued a course of arming terrorist rebellions within the sovereign borders of its neighbors. Last week when bombs exploded in crowded shopping district in New Delhi, Iranian backed Kashmiri insurgents were the culprit- India's most recent crime was an expression of concern about Iran's budding Nuclear program. Iran has also been backing terrorist insurgencies in Uzbekistan, Kazakistan, Dagestan and Turkmenistan.

Last year, British foreign Secretary Jack Straw expressed compliments for Tehran referring to the regime as a "budding democracy." The recent Iranian elections should demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt why President Bush's policy of promoting Democracy in the Middle East is totally incompatible with American and European security interests. Since the Bush Administration has been so reckless in its approach to the region, American credibility is at an all time low, and thus any Democratic Election is bound to produce the most Anti-American leadership possible. Time to rethink American policy once again.


Jeb in 2008 said...

Kartik, You are dancing around this one. You clearly are not comfortable with the leftist anti americans that dominate your party yet you throw them a bone by blaming Bush for his policy. Yet you obviously want to see a strong policy in that region something your party is wholesale against- they want us to be weak and timid and allow France and Germany to run the foreign policy of the US. It is amazing how the liberals running the Democratic Party have little if any common ground with Tony Blair and Hillary Clinton both of whom are liberals but realists as well. I say Hillary will not be President because she cannot be nominated by your left wing, anti-Israel anti-America party. You guys will nominate someone like a Dean this time I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

I have to reluctantly agree with you. Neither Iraq nor Iran, much less Saudi Arabia or Syria, are ready for liberal and pluralistic democracies.

In fact, that last time the U.S. tried to dramatically advance a county in this region it was Iran under the Sha. I think we all remember how well that went.

These countries are plagued by very backward education systems and sharp tribal and regional cleavages.

I would argue the only type of democratic leadership that could work in any of these counties would be one with a strong national leader/president coupled with less powerful legislature and court system.

True democracies take decades to develop. They do not develop overnight. During that time a strong central leader or leaders can take steps to develop the counties along democratic lines. Strong central leaders can promulgate and enforce considerable advancements in the rights and liberties. They can build democratic institutions which will flower when the country is ready to accept the rights and responsibilities of true democracy.

Anonymous said...

Like usual, Tommy (Jeb in 2008) is drunk from the GOP (un)Kool Aid.

Liberals have been responsible for every major victory this country has enjoyed. Conservatives have rarely contributed toward America's greatness.

In 1776, liberals wanted to declare independence while conservatives wanted to remain under the control of England. Liberals prevailed, and the United States was born.

In the mid-1800s, liberals opposed slavery and sought to preserve the union during the Civil War. Conservatives sought to secede so they could continue to oppress our fellow countrymen. Fortunately, the liberal president, Abraham Lincoln, prevailed.

In World War I, it was the liberal Woodrow Wilson who brought this country to victory. The conservatives were silent and weak.

In World War II, FDR fought the conservatives who wished to appease Hitler and fascism and led our country into battle. While fighting the Nazis overseas and conservatives at home, FDR, and later his successor Harry Truman, two liberals, led the United States to victory in the war to end all wars.

The Cold War was also won by liberals. No president is more responsible for the fall of communism than Harry Truman. His Truman Doctrine, along with the Marshall Plan, began our victorious march to victory over the communists. Of course, the leadership of John F. Kennedy and the liberal Republican Richard Nixon played instrumental roles in defeating communism. Their work was finally realized when Reagan lived in the White House, and he attempted to take the credit. Fortunately, most Americans know that he did little in America's victory over communism.

Now, Tommy might want to look at the conservatives.

First of all, the earliest conservatives of America opposed freedom and wished to stay subservient to England. Not much has changed, as today's conservatives continue to oppose freedom and wish that citizens remain under the control of the government.

Then conservatives nearly destroyed the nation by dividing the nation during the Civil War.

Ronald Reagan, of course, was a very weak leader. On October 23, 1983, when terrorists murdered 241 U.S. servicemen, President Reagan, who dodged military service during World War II, decided to back down and run away from the terrorists. It was Reagan's initial sign of weakness in the face of terrorism that has created the current crisis in the world today.

Then 18 years later after being warned by his predecessor that al Qaeda should be taken seriously, President Bush took his eye off the ball and allowed the country to be attacked on September 11th. Like Reagan, Bush refused to take the terrorists head-on, and as a result, we as a nation suffered.

Tommy (Jeb in 2008) will try to convince the intellectually weak with his ridiculous attacks. Unfortunately, the facts are not on his side.

Since 1776, liberals have made America stronger, while conservatives have consistently opposed them. Fortunately, Reagan, Bush, and other conservatives have failed in their goal to make America weaker.

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I am the host of the Major League Soccer Talk and EPL Talk Podcasts and am frequent guest on other (world) football shows. I am also the publisher of various other websites including this one. I work in public/government relations in addition to my soccer work and have a keen interest in history, politics, aviation, travel,and the world around us.