Our goal in Iraq should not be simply establishing "democracy". As pointed out by Paul J. Cella on Redstate, jihad is a fairly popular item in the Muslim world. I think we need a new word.
The problem boils down to the ambiguity of the word "democracy". We say we want a democracy in Iraq when what we mean is that we want a government that supports all of:
- Human rights, including freedom of religion
- Rule of Law
- Representative democracy
- Non-imperialism (and renouncing terror)
- Capitalism, both for the native and the alien
I think the use of "democracy" is a kind of unfortunate shorthand for being a good international citizen. In a way, it may be President Bush's root mistake, in that a failure to accurately describe our goals in Iraq encouraged everyone to take "forming democracy" literally as being the sum of our goals.
Then again, maybe not. After all, what word is there to describe a modern member of the democratic club
with a functioning economy and high regard for the rights of Man?
That leaves aside the question of whether Islam, and a nation whose society is dominated by Islam, is at all likely to become such a place.
We can only hope.
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