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Oct 2001- "THE AIMS OF WAR- Don't Impose Our Values"

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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 07:16 AM
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Oct 2001- "THE AIMS OF WAR- Don't Impose Our Values"
From the WSJ. (a rightwinger, probably, but even HE knew this would never work"..
interesting read.


THE AIMS OF WAR
http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=95001316


THE AIMS OF WAR

Don't Impose Our Values
Stability is more important than democracy in the Mideast.

BY ROBERT D. KAPLAN
Sunday, October 14, 2001 12:01 a.m. EDT

America's war on terrorism may shock the political structure of the Middle East to a degree unseen since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I and the collapse of European colonial rule after World War II. But those who believe the region can be remade in America's democratic image are seeing not the Middle East itself, but the Middle East as an extension of our own domestic obsessions and unique historical experience.

From Morocco on the Atlantic--with its low-level urban unrest, violent drug gangs, and Islamic groups testing a new king--to Pakistan in the Asian subcontinent, where attempts to hold local elections in its Afghan borderlands have been met with bombing campaigns from tribal chiefs, the Middle East constitutes a shatter zone of fragile societies, with a growing population of unemployed young males in cities where per capita water availability may drop by half in the next two decades.

The American experience has been about limiting authority, but the task in the new century in the Middle East will be how to create new forms of it out of the wreckage of decayed systems. Vast social and economic change mean the next generation of Muslim autocrats will be unable to rule as autocratically as the present generation. Yet these societies don't have experience in democratic rule, which requires toleration, moderation and patience. In the 1980s, I personally witnessed Sudan's experiment in democracy descend into anarchy that led to a military tyranny worse than any in its postcolonial history. Thus far, throughout the Middle East, with a few notable exceptions, only monarchs and emirs have had the requisite legitimacy to remain in power without resort to a radical ideology. That is why kingdoms like Morocco's, Jordan's, Saudi Arabia's and Oman's have been pro-American, while secular, modernizing regimes like Syria's and Iraq's have not.

snip.....
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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 07:22 AM
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1. "The American experience has been about limiting authority"
... uuuhhh, they do mean "limiting authority of the puppet governments we install, so they can take marching orders directly from 1600", right?

"...democratic rule, which requires toleration, moderation and patience ..." It's almost comical, albeit sad, that so much of this article is like going thru the looking glass at what we are supposed to be, but since 2001, no longer are since * has run with amok with unchecked power.


:( How could we propose to 'help' any country 'find' democracy' anymore? :shrug:
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