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November 06, 2003

Bullets For Democracy

President Bush called for the governments of the Middle East to move towards democracy tonight. Round up the usual suspects.

Middle East scholars said Bush's appeal for democracy lacked any followup programs.

"No new programs announced, no new money for promoting democracy — just rhetoric," said Martin Indyk, who had been assistant secretary of state for the Middle East in the Clinton administration

"The rhetoric isn't going to move the hardliners in Iran, Yasser Arafat or the governments in Saudi Arabia and Egypt who are now scared of the consequences of the kind of political liberalization that the president is preaching to them," Indyk said.

It's one thing to point out that Yasser and the rest of the Arab dictators resist rhetoric. Quelle surprise!, to use the natural languange of the State Department man. It's quite another to think a well-funded program, one with a catchy title and lots of well-dressed staffers, is going to do anything other than employ out of work State Department hacks. You just know Yasser is going to go all weak in the knees for democracy when those guys come to town. And what's the deal with asserting that "Middle East scholars said Bush's appeal for democracy lacked any followup programs," then quoting only Marty? Does he have multiple personalities?

The fact is that we do have a program for promoting democracy in the Middle East. It started back in April. Congress just spent another $87 billion dollars on it, so it's also well funded. Or would Marty assert that Iraq has regressed along the path to democracy since Saddam was overthrown?

No, rhetoric hasn't budged Yasser, Bashir, or the tinpot Saudi princelings. Neither has 50 years of well-meaning State Department programs, though I'm sure Marty and posse would like nothing more than to give the despotic Arab leaders another 50 years. It's the process that's important, not the goals. As long as Saddam or an accredited representative showed up at regulary scheduled meetings, Marty would have been perfectly happy to let him and his sons murder his way through the Iraqi populace.

Iraq is on the way to democracy now because we're put a couple of bullets through Uday and Qusay's skulls, and because we're doing our damndest to present Saddam with the same little gifts we gave them.

Now that's a program. I for one can't wait until Yasser and his brethren make its aquaintance.

Update: As long as I'm here, let's see what Marty told the other news services, or news service, as the case may be.

MSNBC - Analysts said Arab political reformers would likely be heartened by his words but would find little on how to achieve the vision, and that the difficulty in stabilizing Iraq is causing Arab leaders to think twice about democracy.
''If we continue to stumble in Iraq, if what we leave there is an unstable, illegitimate government that doesn't last and the country implodes, then it's going to set back the course of freedom in a major way,'' said Martin Indyk, a former U.S. diplomat and now director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution

From "Analysts" plural to Analyst singular in two sentences. Multiple Personality Marty strikes again! As for his comment, I'm glad to see Marty's agrees that we need to be in Iraq for the long haul. Surely that's what he means, right?

Posted by Bigwig at November 6, 2003 11:36 PM | TrackBack
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Many make the mistake of assuming such a speech from the President of the United States is aimed solely at other heads of state. Wrong. It was for the huddled masses. All of us.

The same happened with "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" Solely for Gorby's ear was the basis of pundit response at the time. But when wall-down time came, the encouraged huddled masses found their own sledge hammers.

Posted by: Stephen at November 7, 2003 02:52 PM

If only the $87 billion were to be audited! If only Halliburton = freedom! Or Bechtel = Freedom!

No, that money is not for freedom, not that we'll ever see an audit to support that.

Posted by: meg at November 9, 2003 08:34 PM

Hmmm. Let's assume for a sec, that Halliburton and Bechtel have the government sway you assume they do, at least when the Republicans are in power.

For, as everyone knows, this type of thing would never go on during a Democratic administration.

Despite the onerous corporate control of the government, are you free? Feel free to believe that you are not, but people all over the world still dream of living in a similar condition.

Besides, the 87 billion is not meant to make the Iraqis free. We've already done that. It's meant to help keep them free, and regardless of how H & B got the money, a large portion of their activities in the next few years will go towards attaining that goal, whether they believe in it or not.

That's the beauty of capitalism. Once you're paid, you don't have to believe in a task in order to accomplish it. You do it as best you can, so you can get paid next time. As big as H & B are, they're not so big they can just swallow 87 billion dollars, and then do nothing. Not, of course, that anything like that amount is going specifically to them.

Posted by: bigwig at November 10, 2003 12:43 AM
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