Friday, February 11, 2005

VDH: The Case for Democracy

In his Friday column for National Review Online , Victor Davis Hanson explains why fostering democracy in the Muslim world is essential if we are to defeat Islamist terrorism over the long term:

Yet for all its uncertainties and dangers in the Islamic Arab world, there remain some undeniable facts about democracy across time and space that suggest with effort and sacrifice it can both work in the Middle East and will be in the long-term security interests of the United States. So why exactly should we support the daunting task of democratizing the Middle East and how is it possible?


Democracy was not our first, but rather out last choice in the Middle East. For decades we have promoted Cold War realpolitik and supported thugs whose merit was simply that they were not as bad as a murderous Saddam or Assad (true enough), while the Arab world has gone from kings and dictators to Soviet puppets, Pan-Arabists, Islamists, and theocrats. Democracy in some sense is the last chance. It alone offers constitutional guarantees of free speech, minority rights, and an independent judiciary — a framework, a system, a paradigm in which naturally savage humans, prone to all sorts of awful things, as the 20th century attests, can somehow get along. Given the savagery of the modern Middle East that would say quite a lot.

Please read it all:

Why Democracy?


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