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DLC's Ideas Primary: The Left views any talk of democracy promotion with growing suspicion." [View All]

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-25-07 03:59 PM
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Edited on Tue Sep-25-07 04:00 PM by madfloridian
Hell, yes, we most certainly do. The very sound of anyone speaking about spreading anymore Democracy sends chills up our spines. We have been spreading it at gunpoint for over 5 years in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have failed in both places.

How does this group dare to start promoting more Democracy-spreading at this point in time.

We are having to fight our own party now to keep them from starting another war, or at least keep them from letting Little Boots start one.

Democracy in the Middle East

By Shadi Hamid

Thanks to the Bush administration, the Left views any talk of democracy promotion with growing suspicion. This is one of the tragic consequences of the Iraq war and the incessant belligerence of an administration that has tainted everything it has touched in the Middle East. In response - and in disillusion - progressives have abandoned one of the core tenets of liberal internationalism. The task ahead of us, then, is a difficult one: reclaiming democracy promotion as our own, in a way that upholds the best of our ideals, and, at the same time, appreciates the very real limits of power and idealism. First, the rationale; beyond the moral component, democracy promotion is the only way to protect the homeland and secure our long-term national interests.

No, please stop saying we are going to promote Democracy. That is neither our right nor our calling as a nation.

State unequivocally that America respects democratic outcomes. In very clear terms, the United States needs to tell the Middle East that it is not opposed to Islamist parties coming to power through free elections, under the condition that the groups in question have explicitly committed themselves to the nonviolence and respecting the democratic process.

First of all, it is not our business.

Distinguish between nonviolent and violent Islamists. Too often, the many varieties of Islamists are lumped together and viewed as a monolithic group of irrational, dangerous fanatics. In reality, however, there are significant and growing gaps between violent organizations - such as al-Qaeda and its jihadist offshoots - and mainstream groups that peacefully participate in the political process. The latter category includes the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Islamic Action Front in Jordan, the AK Party in Turkey, and the Islamic Constitutionalist Movement in Kuwait. None of these groups have armed wings, all have explicitly renounced violence, and many hold large numbers of seats in their respective parliaments. Moreover, through their vast network of mosques, schools, foundations, and hospitals, these groups provide an important socio-political outlet to disaffected youth - who might otherwise be susceptible to the lure of terrorism - to channel their frustrations peacefully.

Yes, work with them for peaceful purposes, but don't call it spreading Democracy. That makes it sound like we are in charge and are the boss. We are not.

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