Thursday, March 11, 2004

Now they realize it might have not been such a good idea ...

Daniel Drezner ponders the merits of 'Is "Islamic liberal democracy" an unholy trinity?'.

This is not news to those of us who have been paying attention to history. Phoney democracies subverted by oligarchies, neo-fascist nationalists, socialists, etc. exist the world over. Chavez / Venezula anyone? Indeed, even genuine liberal democracies can possibly have very differing and antagonistic values and imperatives than us.

If democracy sweeps the Middle-east world look for an expansion of seeking nuclear weapons, increased oil prices (You can imagine the politicians promising higher oil export prices as an economic quick fix now), greater state-sponsored and allied nationalist movement terrorism, rises in anti-Western sentiment, and increased economic and military pressure on Isreal. Apparently the bright lights in the Admin actually sent away all the experts (Salon.com / daypass advertisement required for viewing) ahead of time so that their ideology could be unecumbered by little things like facts. Then they have the chutzpah to claim that they couldn't know or forsee how the consequences of their actions would unfold. Truth to tell, many warned them honestly and credibly but they just didn't want to listen.

We could also expect well as increased defection of other countries such as the EU, Russia, and China as they realize they can leverage anti-American sentiment into influence and access in the oil fields.

Robert Kagan, recently wrote in The New York Times that the net result of U.S. policy since 9/11 has been that "America, for the first time since World War II, is suffering a crisis of international legitimacy. Americans will find that they cannot ignore this problem."

Robert Kagan is one of the editors of the Weekly Standard and was once considered an influential neo-conservative.

Nor is he alone. Henry Kissinger was recently quoted by the BBC as worrying about "This, he feared, was leading to a decline in America's legitimacy."

It's not a question of confronting terrorism and rogue states and WMD. Indeed I wish we would do that - in countries proven to be proliferating like Iran, Pakistan, and North Korea. I wish we would do it intelligently, forcefully, and with real Machiavellian realpolitk. What we have inadvertantly done now is woken a sleeping demon, spent our credibility fruitlessly, and have precipitiously driven our enemies to unify while at the same time alienating those who might help us.

This is especially galling since as the oldman has written, except for the naivete of foriegn policy neophytes and ideologes, that the dangers of phoney democracy have long been known. Additionally the oldman has written about how we have neglected our own security measures.

And unless we correct our course it is going to be a significant problem in our future. Indeed we may create as self-fullfilling nightmares the very WMD-terrorism connections we have sought to destroy.

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