keep your friends close but your enemies closer
Published on February 7, 2011 By Anthony R In War on Terror

I've come to believe that Bush's policy of Democratization in the Middle East is a farce and a lost cause. It began to unravel when I saw the Iraqis time and time again standing on the smoldering ruins of American machinery and lives screaming allah akbar and it came to a grand finale, in a political sense, when Hamas. a terrorist organization, was democratically elected in the Gaza strip. Add to that woeful outcome the election in Lebanon of Hezbollah, a terrorist organization responsible for the Marine barrack bombing in Beirut and countless other bloody attacks on Americans and Israelis spanning the last 3 decades. Now, as we watch revolution in Egypt I can only hope the dictator Mubarak holds onto power and keeps the Egyptian people from electing the Muslim Brotherhood. Arabs and Persians will vote for the most repugnant, anti West regime imaginable. Time to wrap our troops and bring em home. Secure our borders, drill wherever oil might be, create a crash program to convert all residential and commercial property to natural gas heat, and deny all Visas to anyone from the Middle East, including those who try sneaking through France, Britain, and Germany.    


Comments (Page 1)
on Feb 07, 2011

You have to consider what substantial cultural shifts need to occur, and how slowly they happen, in order for what we call democracy to take root and flourish.  Look how long it took us to arrive at our Constitution after securing our independence, and how it took a civil war nearly 100 years later (four score and seven) for things to really coalesce.  Admittedly, ours was a unique set of circumstances with no real parallel in the Middle East and even most of our allies in western democracies don't have quite what we've ended up with.

All of that does not mean the portential for more enlightened, more democratically-oriented societies in the Middle East is farcical or wishful thinking.  Who knows what things will look like in 20-30 years?  There is certainly significant pressure for democratic reforms coming from within in many of those countries which is being suppressed, bottled up or co-opted, but I don't think that can remain the case forever.  Not in the kind of information age we live in now.  It's easy to get discouraged in the short term, but I have a lot of faith in the power of information sharing to bring about positive change.

on Feb 08, 2011

Bush was not magic.  He did not wave a wand and create democracy.  And the transition is not painless, but I think Iraq has a great chance to succeed.  But it will not be overnight, nor will the infection of democracy change the middle east over night.  Your youth betrays your impatience.

Egypt is not a result of Bush's policies, but of Obama's incompetence.  Iran is the model Obama is using, not Iraq, and it is the old Soviet Union model - going from one master to another.  Going from one master to democracy is hard as we have seen in Iraq, but it is possible.

on Feb 08, 2011

           As I see it, what is transpiring in Egypt is a direct result of American Imperialism as we have a nasty history of backing dictators around the world … and the results will be the same here. We have proven resilient in our ability to recover from all the pratfalls the Government repeatedly sends our way, but with an out of control populous that seems hell bent on proving just how stupid cattle can be, I am not sure how much longer we have left. Look at it this way; our leadership is completely disconnected from the will of the American people, so how much compassion could they feel towards the rest of the world.

           Truth be told, you cannot force democracy on a people that has not ever experienced it. The peoples of the Middle East have lived under brutal totalitarian oppression well, forever. Gifting them with our idea of democracy is just like pissing into the wind … with the same results. It is my hope that the free dissemination of information over the air will be the spark needed for civil change to propagate there … hope it propagates here too. Personally, I think both Iraq and Saudi Arabia are going to fall in the end and our Government will be the catalyst.

on Feb 08, 2011

Truth be told, you cannot force democracy on a people that has not ever experienced it. The peoples of the Middle East have lived under brutal totalitarian oppression well, forever. Gifting them with our idea of democracy is just like pissing into the wind … with the same results. It is my hope that the free dissemination of information over the air will be the spark needed for civil change to propagate there … hope it propagates here too. Personally, I think both Iraq and Saudi Arabia are going to fall in the end and our Government will be the catalyst.

Although I somewhat agree with you I can't accept that just because the odds are overwhelmingly against you to try to make things better doesnt mean one should simply not try, otherwise we would not be here today if people like Thomas Jefferson would have given up on the light bulb and the Wright Brothers would not have created the first successful airplane. It's the reason our Gov't is as disconnected as you point out, because we the people simply believe we don't have the power to change things when in reality the Constitution gives us all the powers we need to change it as we see fit.

This country may not be perfect and considering we are humans just as much as everyone else on the planet, I am not completely surprised to see our leaders having relationships with other world leaders (regardless who they are) if it benefits us (or them directly) in some way. Using your own words, truth be told, we are human and we are just as stupid as the ones who think virgins are waiting for him in the afterlife after blowing himself up.

on Feb 08, 2011

 

Although I somewhat agree with you I can't accept that just because the odds are overwhelmingly against you to try to make things better doesnt mean one should simply not try
 

          I can only accept this if you can convince me that our Government propagates moral fortitude … anywhere. If you can accept that normal in Iraq is not the same as normal is in America, that would be a good start. If you want to understand then you have to look outside the circle. See if this works for you:

          Islamic fundamentalism is exactly the same as our desire for a democratic world. What they want is to convince the world that Western Capitalism is the real problem. So our solution to date on this dilemma is to force feed the world on our moral and religious self-rightness which is a miserable failure here in this the freest most powerful democratic Nation on earth … and we have been free for hundreds of years. You can leed them to YOUR chosen path, but you cannot force them down it. I am trying to talk about the actual needs of THEIR People here and you are weighing microscopic probabilities and it all is based on what our Government feels isimportant. Have you looked at your Government lately (hint, step outside the circle again)?

I am not completely surprised to see our leaders having relationships
 

           In order to use this statement, you have to be a little more specific. 'Relationships' bothers me as it defines absolutely nothing. Relationships on a world stage are conducted by Governments and other financial interests, not by or for the people. On this stage, people are mere commodities whose welfare does not weigh into the equation or I should say is not very high on the priority list. The reason the world is in such a mess is because all the miscreants (Governments) around the world want to force all the other miscreants (and their people) around the world to bow to their MORAL values and American Imperialism is in the forefront of it all. If you want to help, give things the people NEED, not what YOU think they need … Guidance not force. 

I am not completely surprised to see our leaders having relationships with other world leaders (regardless who they are) if it benefits us (or them directly) in some way

          ... not even sure where to start here ... help. As I see it, you are claiming that a Government can do anything it wants if it claims "it benefits us (or them directly) in some way" is ok with you ... Isn't that the way it is now?

 

on Feb 08, 2011

A Democracy can only be bled for, to be truly cherished.  "Giving" it (like we tried to do in Afghanistan/Iraq) for some reason seems to make it less valuable.

I think it is human nature to value something you've earned over something handed to you.  It's not just Democracy.  I see it again and again with family, friends, and my children.  When they work for something (a house, new car, vacation, toy) they seem to enjoy it more, and take better care of it when they've sweat for it.  When it's a gift, while novel and wonderful at first, eventually it is treated with "meh" mentality or thrown away altogether.

Our ancestors fought and bled to be free of a King, then later for diverse opinions on the freedom of every man.  Those struggles, those ideas are passed down generation to generation.  It's in the blood.  People may poo poo war stories, movies,etc.  But they are a vehicle of information, reminding us freedom isn't free...and it certainly doesn't seem sustainable as a "gift."

I don't know how we expect other countries to thank us and cherish a Democracy they didn't earn; didn't want badly enough to bleed for.

IMO, if the 80 million people in Egypt, or even HALF, want Mubarak out, he's out.  No military can stand against those numbers. 

I don't believe the rowdy .9%-1% of the mostly male demonstrators in the street represent the other 99% of the countries population.

on Feb 08, 2011

I don't see where we are 'force-feeding' democracy anyplace, at least in the sense you seem to imply.  You can argue that we are 'force-feeding' it to Islamic fundamentalists in Iraq and Afghanistan (a minority) but not to their populations as a whole, most of whom desire some degree of the secular freedoms we enjoy.

Had we not 'force-fed' democracy in the 1940's, we, and all of Europe, might still be speaking German.

on Feb 08, 2011

I don't see where we are 'force-feeding' democracy anyplace

I agree....we give what we consider the best gift ever when it's in our power to do so...or try to help facilitate it...but we don't force it.

on Feb 08, 2011

I can only accept this if you can convince me that our Government propagates moral fortitude … anywhere. If you can accept that normal in Iraq is not the same as normal is in America, that would be a good start. If you want to understand then you have to look outside the circle. See if this works for you:

Normal is not for everyone to be the same. Let's be realistic here, there is no such thing as normal  because normal is a very, very subjective word. I personally don't know why were are trying to give Iraqis any kind of freedom; if they want it, as Tova put, they should bleed for it themselves. I thought we went there because of WMDs and because Saddam attacked out airplanes. Did we have allies in Iraq that needed defending? if so then there's another valid reason. But for freedom and moral reasons? Sorry, not my problem. We can offer help, assistance and maybe even the materials needed to build such a lifestyle but to give it to them, fight it for them and die for them while they don't appreciate it?

Islamic fundamentalism is exactly the same as our desire for a democratic world. What they want is to convince the world that Western Capitalism is the real problem. So our solution to date on this dilemma is to force feed the world on our moral and religious self-rightness which is a miserable failure here in this the freest most powerful democratic Nation on earth … and we have been free for hundreds of years. You can leed them to YOUR chosen path, but you cannot force them down it. I am trying to talk about the actual needs of THEIR People here and you are weighing microscopic probabilities and it all is based on what our Government feels isimportant. Have you looked at your Government lately (hint, step outside the circle again)?

You may be right, but the big difference is that they have issues with our Gov't but take it out on it's people by using their own people to do the dirty work. Here, most of the time we don't even know there is a relationship (of any kind) with them. We may seek to want them to be more like us, they want to force us to be like them or die. You may see it as forced but you seem to ignore or forget (the former likely) that they are a forceful people as well. The possibilities may be microscopic but again you cant ignore them but in this world even the microscopic can not be ignored or it can come back to bite you.

Have I looked at my own Gov't lately? I look at it every day and I get disgusted by it every day worrying about the people of another nation while ignore those here. Constantly giving money away to nations who don't give a damn about us while our own people suffer. I know what kind of Gov't we have here, one that has lost it's way, that has become corrupted by greed because greed is a human thing and all politicians are human regardless of party.

In order to use this statement, you have to be a little more specific. 'Relationships' bothers me as it defines absolutely nothing. Relationships on a world stage are conducted by Governments and other financial interests, not by or for the people. On this stage, people are mere commodities whose welfare does not weigh into the equation or I should say is not very high on the priority list. The reason the world is in such a mess is because all the miscreants (Governments) around the world want to force all the other miscreants (and their people) around the world to bow to their MORAL values and American Imperialism is in the forefront of it all. If you want to help, give things the people NEED, not what YOU think they need … Guidance not force.

If it bothers you that's not my problem. i'm not gonna change my way of thinking or talking to accommodate other peoples inability to understand something so simple. The big problem is how things are today and how people seem to accept it as if there is no alternative but if there is one thing one can learn about this planet is that nothing is absolute and that change is constant, the real sad part is that it will take a large disaster to get people to wake up back into reality. 9/11 comes to mind. of course leave it to people to have short term memory issues.

BTW, I don't appreciate the whole "American Imperialism" comment. We are not perfect or innocent in the world events of today but we are hardly trying to take over the world, not with Presidents who continue to bringing us to the brink of economic collapse and having China just waiting to swoop in and claim their stake on our land. You don't need to lose any sleep over this.

... not even sure where to start here ... help. As I see it, you are claiming that a Government can do anything it wants if it claims "it benefits us (or them directly) in some way" is ok with you ... Isn't that the way it is now?

Wow, you totally missed the point on that one. My point was how the Gov't seems to think they can do what they want with the excuse that it is for our benefit because in the end they depend on the same thing they always depend on, the average Americans ignorance and this seems to be something this country tends to be really good at giving the Gov't.

on Feb 08, 2011

As I see it, what is transpiring in Egypt is a direct result of American Imperialism

Please cite examples of American Imperialism.  And do not use words unless you understand their meaning.

on Feb 08, 2011

Islamic fundamentalism is exactly the same as our desire for a democratic world.

This is a completely irrational statement.  The two could not be any more different.

on Feb 08, 2011

BoobzTwo

Truth be told, you cannot force democracy on a people that has not ever experienced it

Tell that to Jefferson, Madison, Washington, Franklin, Adams, Hancock, etc.

CharlesCS

Thomas Jefferson would have given up on the light bulb and the Wright Brothers would not have created the first successful airplane.

Jefferson invented the light bulb?

 

on Feb 08, 2011

Jefferson invented the light bulb?

 

on Feb 08, 2011

The problem I see with Mid East Democracy is rooted in Islam. Islamists are actually adapting to western Democracy and beating us at our own game. They seem to have figured out how to defeat Western civilization at the ballot box without firing a shot. I began to realize just how deep my feelings were on this issue when I started rooting for the dictator Mubarak to hold power in Egypt, I began to realize that I had virtually no hope of seeing anything arise in a new Egypt other than a radical Islamic police state much like Gaza. Reading Ayyan Hirsi Ali's article on this issue really confirmed my beliefs. It would be virtually impossible for a secular democrat to compete with the ground game of Islam in an Islamic state. When we pull out of Afghanistan the Taliban or Osama Bin Laden will be voted in and Iraq will likely elect Al Sadr. I wonder how much laughter there will be if Turkey successfully joins the EU and finally gets a a foothold on Europe without firing a shot.

on Feb 09, 2011

Anthony R
The problem I see with Mid East Democracy is rooted in Islam. Islamists are actually adapting to western Democracy and beating us at our own game. They seem to have figured out how to defeat Western civilization at the ballot box without firing a shot. I began to realize just how deep my feelings were on this issue when I started rooting for the dictator Mubarak to hold power in Egypt, I began to realize that I had virtually no hope of seeing anything arise in a new Egypt other than a radical Islamic police state much like Gaza. Reading Ayyan Hirsi Ali's article on this issue really confirmed my beliefs. It would be virtually impossible for a secular democrat to compete with the ground game of Islam in an Islamic state. When we pull out of Afghanistan the Taliban or Osama Bin Laden will be voted in and Iraq will likely elect Al Sadr. I wonder how much laughter there will be if Turkey successfully joins the EU and finally gets a a foothold on Europe without firing a shot.

I agree with you for the most part, but instead of saying 'virtually no hope", I would qualify mine as "little hope".  The Egyptians are not your typical Arabs as they do have a lot more history and culture to bring to the table.  That does not mean it is enough, but at least it is more than most of the Middle East has (and for he record, Iran had it too).

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