Monday, October 07, 2002

Why Should We Hold Back?

The author starts off another argument against invading Iraq with an assertion so false that the remainder of the column is suspect. The author states, “One of the most appealing thoughts about a possible war with Iraq is that it could help spread democracy, transforming a rotten political order in the Middle East. But more likely, such a war would render the Middle East more repressive and unstable than it is today. Democracy cannot be imposed through military force, even if force is used successfully to oust antidemocratic dictators.” [emphasis added] All I have to say is: “Germany” and “Japan.” And those guys tenaciously fought on until the Russians reached the center of Berlin and two of their cities were destroyed by nuclear weapons, respectively. Talk about fanatical. Today, we debate how much of Saddam’s military will defect or stay in the barracks refusing to answer the hotline from Baghdad.

The author claims democracy in the Middle East and the Moslem world will actually go backwards if we invade and occupy Iraq? How is this possible? Will the rulers retroactively cancel earlier sham elections? That is really the only way for the democracy factor to get worse. And so what if Moslems think an invasion represents American imperialism. For goodness sake, they think McDonald’s and Britney Spears represent American imperialism. Better they should be too afraid to attack Americans despite their fear of the effects of Britney sans burqa on their societies.

The author states that democracy tomorrow in a number of states would actually be harmful as fanatics used the ballot box to put extreme regimes in place. This falsely assumes that full blown democracies are created overnight. The right to vote must be tied in with the concept of the rule of law and a civic mentality that doesn’t see defeat at the polls as a reason to uncover your weapons cache and take to the streets. We didn’t spring into a full-blown democracy overnight and we can’t argue that repressive regimes must do so overnight either. And it the author wishes us to inspire more, let us inspire the dissidents in Iran who crave freedom from the mullahs.

I’m sorry, but we do know what is better for the people of the Middle East. Democracy, freedom, and governments that actually seek to better the lives of their citizens are better than the inert despotisms that rule over societies of serfs. If the author truly believes that the current state of affairs is better I am truly sorry for what our students are fed in college. This judgment on what is best for Muslims is based on our ability to inspire. As the people of Iran show, they are inspired quite well, thank you. Sadly. it just hasn’t worked very well inspiring the dictators.

On the anniversary of our counter-attack that began with the assault on the Taliban, I look forward to the next campaign. I was ambivalent about the 9-11 anniversary. It remembers the worst of our enemy’s ongoing attack against us. While important, I worried it could falter into wallowing victimhood. October 7, however, is another thing. This marks the beginning of our war. I can only assume the President did not choose this day haphazardly to talk about the pending war with Iraq. We aren’t going to listen to the inertia-creating worries about what our enemies can do should we act. No, we are going to make our enemies worry about all that will go wrong for them when we attack. By my read, Iraqis are beginning to worry very much. Of course, none are willing to break the news to Saddam…

On to Baghdad.

One last thing: apparently, Rep. McDermott DID restrain himself while in Baghdad. Amazing stuff from his recent town hall meeting here.