The Jaker

Mostly rational politics, with occasional rants about how a few crazy Republicans are ruining the country.

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Friday, December 16, 2005
You Can't Force Democracy
Here's the major problem with what we're doing in Iraq: you can't force Democracy on people who are not ready for it.

Why is the middle east not ready for it?

Because the majority of the people there have still not accepted the idea of secularism - that church and state can/should be separate.

Look what's happening in Egypt. The largest Arab country is finally, slowly starting to allow Democratic elections. And what party is benefitting? According to TIME, it's the Muslim Brotherhood, a political party that "has never renounced its goal of re-establishing an Islamic caliphate and has long been associated with radical ideologues like Sayyid Qutb, whose writings helped inspire al-Qaeda."

You can see a similar pattern in Iraq. The ruling demographic to emerge from yesterday's elections is likely to be religious Shiites, who seek a fundamentalist state similar to Iran, where women cannot drive, must cover-up, etc.

You can't just force Democracy on people who still have not embraced the majority of its basic Western tenets - freedom of religion being a main one.

That's why this war was wrong. Keep Saddam in check. Keep weapons out of his hands. Encourage internal Iraqi movements. But forcing western-style democracy on a region still stuck in the 1800s is not our business, nor our right, nor in our long-term interests.
posted by CB @ 9:56 AM  
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