Thursday, November 22, 2007

With Iraq Improving,
Will Neocon Ideas Return?

by Victor Davis Hanson - November 22nd, 2007 -

More than seven months ago, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., claimed that Iraq was “lost.”

But that was hardly the case. In fact, Sunni insurgents were just beginning to turn on al-Qaida and join us.


As fear of defeat in Iraq recedes from the political landscape, look to a growing consensus elsewhere. “Neocon” — the term often used to describe “new” conservatives who today support fostering democracy in the Middle East — may still be a dirty word.

But if you take the anger about George Bush out of the equation, along with the Iraq war and the fear of any more invasions by the U.S., why not support democratic reform in the Middle East?

This is still the idealistic view. As we are discovering with our relationship with Musharraf and his supporters in Pakistan, it is not possible to buy "friends" in the middle east. At best you can rent them . . . and the costs are high. We have plenty of prior evidence. The Shah in Iran. The House of Saud. The only true alliances (not friends . . . alliances) we have built in the last 100 years are where we established democracies in Germany and Japan.

However the real problem is the cynical reality that democracy is a shaky proposition, if by democracy you mean pure majority rule. What is really needed is the Constitutional Republic guarantee of individual rights to all provided where the use of democracy is in selection of the officials. However the officials must be limited with a balance of powers and a strong Constitution to the even handed treatment of all citizens. It is a tough balance to maintain, as we are discovering here in America. We too are creeping towards socialism and tyranny, just like all prior democracies.

In the middle east, with their dominant religion being based on the premise of a religion controlled socialist theocracy, democracy is a really hard sell. It has never worked all that well in Turkey. As the Taliban proved in Afghanistan, sharia law is a pretty horrible experience for women, gays and anyone who is not willing to publicly proclaim their allegiance to Allah. Expecting any democracy to resist that is at least argumentative.

The real question becomes, what is the best strategy to defeat the world-wide Islamo-fasicst movement that is dedicated to the destruction of our western world of freedom? We cannot leave the middle east to the petroleum supported dictatorships that currently rule. That strategy has not worked. What is the right strategy? Wait until nuclear bombs are going off here in America?


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