Sunday, January 14, 2007

Democracy: A Very Messy Business

A tyrant is deposed and executed. The long suffering majority, oppressed by the tyrant and his band of cohorts begins a blood letting in retribution. "Dead Ender" supporters of the deposed regime attempt to fight back. The American Secretary of State expresses his strong support for the new government in their struggle against these "Dead Enders". The President of the United States exceeds his constitutional authority because he believes it is in the best interests of the country.

Any of this sound familiar? Is this Iraq we are talking about.....?

All of these dire predictions coming from the Bush Administration about what will happen if we pull out of Iraq got me to thinking about this. I am a Viet Nam veteran, so I well remember the Domino Theory which did not come to pass. So, who were we talking about above the fold? Why, only the country most of us love and many Americans love to hate. So how did France get from a monarchy to the republic that it is today? According to Wiki:

The French Revolution (1789-1799) was a vital period in the history of France and Europe as a whole.... While France would oscillate among republic, empire,and monarchy for 75 years after the First Republic fell to a coup d'√©tat, the Revolution is widely seen as a major turning point in the history of Western democracy — from the age of absolutism and aristocracy, to the age of the
citizenry as the dominant political force.

This was not achieved witout a considerable amount of blood letting. But who was this American Secretary of State who supported the Revolutionaries in France? Why none other that the principal author of the Declaration of Independence:

Sensing rising criticism of the excesses of the French Revolution in the letters of William Short (1759-1848), his handpicked chargé des affaires in Paris, Secretary of State Jefferson sharply chastised Short and praised the revolution despite its rising irrationality and violence: "and was ever such a prize won with so little innocent blood? my own affections have been deeply wounded by some of the martyrs to this cause, but rather than it should have failed, I would have seen half the earth desolated. were there but an Adam and Eve left in every country, left free, it would be better than as it now is."

And the American President who exceeded his constitutional authority? Why none other than that self same Thomas Jefferson who executed the Louisiana Purchase even as he was doubtful of his own authority to do so.

I guess my point in all this is that all these dire predictions of the Bush Administration about what will happen if we were to leave Iraq are just not either or propositions. There are many things we could do to prevent these bad consequences that do not involve keeping our troops in Iraq to referee a Civil War. On Meet The Press today, Senator Hagel touched on a plan that has been diaried here. So our King George wanted to establish a democracy in Iraq. He has.

Maybe he should have been careful about what he wished for.

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