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« Against the dominant orthodoxies | Main | A juicy target for Bush haters »

August 17, 2004


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This is a sincere question, not a challenge; I struggle with this and am truly interested in your answer: Why "must" Iraq become democratic? What if they are culturally unsuited to it? What if what they want is a theocracy, or monarchy, or socialist republic? That last is ridiculous, I know, but the point is, even if one allows that we did the right thing by going in and taking out Saddam, what gives us the right to decide what kind of government they're going to have? It just seems arrogant to me for us to assume that they must be a democracy. Why is that different or better or more moral than the imperialism of the British Empire or Nazi Germany or the USSR?

It's the geopolitics, first and foremost. Take a look at the map, and you'll notice we're closing off Axis-of-Evil linchpin Iran with Iraq to the west and Afghanistan to the east. We're trying to strangle an enemy who has declared in both word and deed it wants to destroy us -- that includes the terrorists and their state supporters. Try reading some of the Iraqi bloggers (Iraq the Model in my blogroll has lots of links) to get a feel for how democracy may be taking root over there. Also, check out our withdrawal of troops from Germany and South Korea for a take on how American "imperialism" compares with the older land-grabbing kind.

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