Not a Buchanan fan, but he is a Conservative who has opposed this war, and this column dresses down B*sh's core rationale for "staying the course" (or the one he adopted when WMD evaporated), that spreading democracy will "defeat" the insurgents and terrorists in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.
Researching 25 years of suicide bombings, scholar Robert Pape found the leading cause was not a lack of democracy, but the presence of troops from democratic nations on lands terrorists believe by right belong to them.
The United States was hit on 9/11 because we had an army on Saudi soil. Britain and Spain were hit for sending troops to occupy Iraq. Russia was hit at Beslan because she is perceived as occupying Chechnya.
Democracy is thus no more a cure for terror than its absence is the cause. Osama has no moral objection to dictatorships. He means to establish one, a caliphate where mosque and state are joined, and sharia law is imposed without recourse to referendum.
By January, we shall know whether Iraqi democracy is the antidote to terror Bush believes it to be. If it is not, he and we will have to face the grim consequences of his conversion to a utopian ideology in the name of which he pursued a potentially calamitous three-year war.
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