Sponsored Content

Intermarkets' Privacy Policy

Donate to Ace of Spades HQ!

Recent Entries
Absent Friends
westminsterdogshow 2023
Ann Wilson(Empire1) 2022
Dave In Texas 2022
Jesse in D.C. 2022
OregonMuse 2022
redc1c4 2021
Tami 2021
Chavez the Hugo 2020
Ibguy 2020
Rickl 2019
Joffen 2014
AoSHQ Writers Group
A site for members of the Horde to post their stories seeking beta readers, editing help, brainstorming, and story ideas. Also to share links to potential publishing outlets, writing help sites, and videos posting tips to get published. Contact OrangeEnt for info
Cutting The Cord And Email Security
Moron Meet-Ups

If This Isn't the "Angry" Left, What Is It? | Main | Worst. Weather Report. Ever.
January 21, 2005

Is the Middle East Actually Ready For Democracy?

I've been meaning to pose this question for some time.

I think we on the right -- and I include myself here -- have taken far too much pleasure in condemning those on the left who question the ME's suitability for democracy as being "racists."

It's a lot of fun to hoist them by their own petards, and use their language and their slogans against them-- "How can you be so racist and ruthless as to condemn entire nations to tyranny?"


I would not say that the Middle East is not ready for democracy. I would not say that Arabs are incapable of praciticing it and mastering it, or that Islam is incompatible with democracy, human rights, freedom, and small-l liberal government and self-determination.

But I would say this: It remains an open question.

I'm quite sure there's nothing genetic about Arabs that might make democracy difficult for them; I'm not a racist. And I do know that several Muslim states are either semi-democracies or at least moving in the right direction.

Nevertheless, "democracy" and "freedom" don't grow in rocky soil. The ground must be prepared for them to blossom. Europe and America had the Enlightment, and science (by which, I guess, I mean a general philosophical empiricism), and banking, and secure contracts based upon voluntary agreements, and a host of other factors which made democracy and peaceful self-rule work; other cultures may not.

As dozens of conservative commentators frequently pointed out: there is an entire infrastructure of habits, practices, traditions and temperaments that are more or less necessary for democracy and peaceful self-governance. A paper constitution is not the answer, as we've seen dozens of times in Latin America and Africa. (Yes, I know, Latin America is moving in the right direction too.)

Again, I don't say that democracy is doomed to fail in Iraq, nor that Bush is acting wrong in attempting to bring that nation out of the dark ages. It's a noble project, and I hope and pray it works.

But I am, I guess, arguing with readers and commenters here who assume that this is closer to a lock than the gamble it is.

I want this work. I hope it will work. And I do hope that the beacon of freedom that Iraq provides will light the way for a dozen other countries.

I just think that, at least at the moment, the question remains very much open, and we shouldn't make assumptions about it.

There may be a dozen democratic dominoes about to fall; but the crucial one-- Iraq -- isn't quite even tottering over yet. So I worry about putting so much faith in an event we all desperately hope will come to pass, but has not yet done so, and may never do so at all.

And No, This Doesn't Make Me a Paleocon: But honestly, we on the right were just a year ago defending America's siding with Iraq in the Iraq-Iran war, for purely cynical -- but vital -- realpolitik reasons.

Are we ready to say that that was entirely a mistake? That the world has now changed so much? That we are all ready to abandon the idea that our security and interests come first, and that the idealistic, never-deal-with-thugs foreign policy so long advocated by the left is now the correct one, simply because the Left has now abandoned that policy and embraced a skeptical, ruthless brand of "let them all rot"?

digg this
posted by Ace at 05:40 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
OrangeEnt: " How many frozen penii are in that pic, MisHum? ..."

Nightwatch: "363 )_( Teh...teh...teh ..."

LenNeal: " House. Must have been nice. When I was a kid ..."

Mike Hammer, etc., etc.: " And afterwards...yer DAD pulled it out and used ..."

COMountainMarie : "Hey! Y'all snuck right up... ..."

Sharkman: "Turns out the kid Deadshit defamed yesterday for w ..."

AZ deplorable moron: "Thanks for the ONT MisHum. Good tunes too! I kn ..."

Bertram Cabot, Jr.: "Portman link is broke ..."

Tonypete: "“I have frozen my penis. . . . Calle Halfvar ..."

Cicero (@cicero43): "Teutoburg Forest. Watch your six. ..."

LenNeal: "You had a stocking?! LUXURY!! We had a foot cove ..."

sven: "I froze my penis, slept with a DNC operative.... ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64