I read Polimom’s blog every day thanks to the miracle of RSS. Yesterday she wrote a bit of a rant against the so-called NeoCons’ vision of “democracy in unlikely places” that bothers me.
After years of being angry at the neocons, I finally understand them. I’m still afraid of their hands in our government (and want them out and away), but I no longer think they’re deliberately evil. Instead, I see that they are idealists — zealots — with a terribly (and lethally) flawed philosophy that was exposed when they attempted to execute… and their supporters simply bought into the utopian dream.
I hop that’s overstatement for effect. Bush and crew are arrogant and not very bright. But for an intelligent person to actually believe that they are evil, a designation that should be reserved for the Hitlers and Stalins of the world, is inane.
I’d say that the vision of seeding democracies in Iraq and other places is a wonderfully idealistic vision. Can anyone deny that the world would be a better place if Iraq and Afghanistan were independent, stable democracies? I don’t think so.
One of many problems with countries like Iraq is that many, many people there have a strong preference for our type of democracy and are denied their right to representative government by oppressive military or theological dictatorships.
Polimon says, “societies everywhere reflect the individuals within them, and each is utterly unique. One cannot externally impose a value system or way of life that works in one society upon another… and certainly one cannot ‘force’ freedom.”
She’s right, but not for the reasons she thinks.
Indeed, freedom cannot be forced – it has to be universally desired. The fact is that democracy was and would continue to be welcomed by the vast majority of Iraqis if not for the murderous actions of the Islamic terrorists who are destroying that country from the inside out.
But does that mean that Bush’s idea was wrong? Or is it our execution that is the problem?
Both, probably. But the latter carries the most weight with me. IMO, Bush and crew lied to America about the imminent danger Iraq supposedly presented, thumbed their noses at the rest of the civilized world, then bungled the job by not having enough troops to do the job.
Three strikes, we’re out.