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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Pat Buchanan on the war

Buchanan gives aWol too much credit, claiming that it is W's naive faith in democracy that got us into Iraq and keeps us there, rather than a combination of greed, stupidity, megalomania and pure evil, which is basically what I think Bush is all about. Nevertheless, Buchanan has some solid arguments against W's standard talking points:
Nathan Brown, a Mideast expert at the Carnegie Endowment, agrees: "The democratic process as it has worked so far [in Iraq] has certainly done nothing to undermine the insurgency."

But the most sweeping challenge to President Bush's faith-based war comes from F. Gregory Gause III in Foreign Affairs. Writes Gause: "There is no evidence that democracy reduces terror. Indeed, a democratic Middle East would probably result in Islamist governments unwilling to cooperate with Washington."

Not only does democracy offer no guarantee against terror, writes Gause, democracies are the most frequent targets of terror. Not one incident of terror was reported in China between 2000 and 2003, but democratic India suffered 203. Israel, the most democratic nation in the Middle East, endured scores of acts of terror from 2000 to 2005. Syria's dictatorship experienced almost none. While Saddam's Iraq was terror-free,* democratic Iraq suffers daily attacks.

Researching 25 years of suicide bombings, scholar Robert Pape found the leading cause was not a lack of democracy, but the presence of troops from democratic nations on lands terrorists believe by right belong to them.

*Pat seems to have forgotten about Iyad Allawi and his ilk of CIA-backed terrorists, who blew up theaters, buses and offices in the mid-1990's. I think he also ignores the very real aspect of state terror. Saddam's behavior in 2002-2003 in no way justified the massive, bloody, and ongoing invasion which followed, but that doesn't mean that he and his security forces weren't terrorizing some Iraqi citizens (just as "coalition" forces are terrorizing them now on a much larger scale).

I don't think that either Bush or Buchanan are committed to democracy. But at least Buchanan is honest about it, and points out the obvious fallacies in Bush's democracy BS.