Sunday, October 03, 2004

Can democracy grow in Iraq?

Read this column, and please comment.


At 6:41 PM, Blogger Bo said...

Nate, this is a good question. Chafets has some good points, and I agree with several things he said, most notably the fact that regardless of whether democracy is established in Iraq, Saddam was no longer an acceptable presence in the world. And ultimately, that's really the only justification we needed to invade - it'd be nice to set up a democracy, and we certainly can't leave the place in utter chaos, but if it comes down to establishing a semi-democratic autocracy that is friendly to our interests, then that's fine by me.

I guess I don't know whether democracy is possible or not. I do think a significant number of Iraqis want something resembling a democracy, or at least resembling some form of representative government. This isn't a stone-solid analogy, but look at the success of the Arab version of American Idol - it's basically the only place where Arabs are able to vote for what they want. . .or just vote in general. At the same time, it's hard for me not to get real depressed when you hear about all the bombings. Even more so, it's hard for me to hear about al Sadr using women and children as shields (or killing women and children), note the general lack of outrage among the Arab world, and then conclude that these are a people that can handle a democracy - it just seems that they're different than us on a base leve (and I don't mean because of skin color, but their beliefs - sort of what Chavets was referring to).

Finally, I think it's something that can't be said in the media or by any political figure, but why is the United States blamed for all the problems in Iraq? Why won't people ask the Arabs to assume some responsibility for this project? We hear, thanks to CNN, how the United States is screwing up this and that, but have you read an editorial in the NYTimes about how the "insurgents" blowing up other Arabs should shoulder some share of the blame? Hell, it's not like we're trying to create an Evil Empire - our soldiers are dying so that Iraqis can taste some semblance of freedom; why doesn't the average Iraqi turn on Sadr and his ilk? If popular outrage was sufficient, you can bet that his profile (and that of the other terrorists bombing our Hummers and shooting at our soldiers) would recede. I recognize that this isn't a very politically correct thing to say, and of course the US invaded (thus making us primarily responsible for pulling this thing off), but it seems to me that Iraqis should start being a lot more vocal in their opposition to the thugs that are killing fellow Arabs.

I'm a little hungover, so this isn't very clear. I'll try to come up with something better later.

At 8:09 PM, Blogger Tortfeasor said...

I figured you must have gotten sloshed. Haven't heard from you in a couple of days.

I'll post more later -- need to try to study. Unfortunately, the abysmal Bama performance has me in a rut.


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