« Busy day's thoughts | Main | Payne Media as Instrument of War »

March 16, 2005






but he's a yale man. he'll get a gentleman's "c"

the aardvark

thanks! Peter Jennings did not fail the test.


As I said before: We're talking about two mutually exclusive objectives.

If we want Arab democracy, Middle East peace goes byebye, because those self-same democratic elements will rip the peace treaties in Egypt and Jordan to shreds.

If we want Middle East peace, we wind up having to squish or at least defer Arab democracy.

At the moment, the two do not mix.

I could go with either, personally. Which do people want, democracy or peace?

Saying 'Both' is not an option, because you cannot have both, not in the foreseeable future.



Your argument is completely backwards. Peace can not precede democracy. If there continue to be Arab tyrranies, they will continue to direct the ire of their own people outwards towards some enemy - Israel. If you create democracy, people will care a lot more about what is going on in their country then they will about demonizing Israel. If democracy is achieved in the Middle East, peace will follow. Democracies do not go to war against each other.


Peace can not precede democracy

I guess the Egypt-Israel Peace treaty, which has lasted for 25 years, must be a fiction then.

if there continue to be Arab tyrranies, they will continue to direct the ire of their own people outwards towards some enemy - Israel.

And why won't democracies do that ? Democracies are hardly immune to demagoguery. Having been in India during run-ups to war, I can well attest to that.

Democracies do not go to war against each other.

This is nonsense. When there are old hates or areas of disputes, democracies are as likely to go to war as anyone else.

India and Pakistan have fought several times including a near nuclear war in 1999(even when Pakistan was a democracy). Russia and Chechnya (when independent) fought.

Heck, the US fought Britain twice. Britain fought France several times in Africa.

Tom Scudder

And the United States of America fought the Confederated States of America.


You're argument is compelling Abu A, but I'm not sure the same rules apply to the Arab world as anywhere else. But I get your point clearly. Trying to do both will be difficult. I believe we cannot turn back now. Expectations are either really high or really low at the moment in the Arab world. Slacking on one or the other could be perceived as rampant incompetence by Arabic peoples toward the west. Not that we don't already feel like incompetence is rampant already...

Ignoring the Palestinian cause one moment longer or appearing to be half-assing it will only lead to very negative things in the future. And nobody but the extremists on both sides of the aisle are wanting this more.

I really like your blog! I'm surprised I haven't linked you up yet!



i'm waiting for nudnik to pull out tom friedman's mcdonald's theory. we should build golden arches around the world to end war forever!

David All

Democracy in Arab Countries and peace with Israel are two separate matters. They are not dependent on each other.

The idea that Democracies do not war upon each other is nonsense. Erq is right, authoritarian govts. have no monopoly on demagoguery. Democracies can whip up hatred just as fiercely, perhaps even more fiercely because people have the choice on whether or not to shout for war. Genuine hatred from a free choice is much deeper then hatred springing from no choice.

Erq mentions India as an example, I would mention the United States. In each country's history there were wars where it would not have mattered if the enemy had been a democracy, traditional ethnic, religious and national hatreds overrode everything else. Erq mentions India's wars with Pakistan, I would mention the USA's conquest of the Philipines in 1899-1902, the so-called Filipino Insurgency, in which the US brutally crushed an independence movement that had fought the Spainish Empire and was on the verge of establishing the Philipines as a free and independent nation.

Finally, as Tom Scudder points out, the USA fought the CSA, both with popularly elected govts, in the bloodiest war in American History, resulting in more then 600,000 American dead. As many Americans were killed in the Civil War as in all the other wars, America has fought in from the Revolution to current war against Islamic Terrorism.

As for Tom Friedman's Golden Arches theory, I believe that was a casuality of the US-NATO war against Serbia over Kosovo since the Serbian Capital of Belgrade had a McDonald's! (At least it did at the beginning, I think it was destroyed by a Serbian Crowd in the course of the conflict.)

Finally, I am glad that Peter Jennings at least had the guts to ask Our Favorite Arab King, (tittle given to whoever is King of Jordan) some tough questions about torture. This is one of the few, maybe the first time, I have ever thought well of Jennings.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Blog powered by Typepad