Jonas: Exporting democracy – importing trouble (2)

A suicide car bomber killed 19 police officers and cadets on Feb. 19 outside a Baghdad police academy.

I think it was Alfred Kerr, the German critic nicknamed the “culture pope” in his day, who once said that he had been writing the same dozen pieces all his life. I suspect I have, too. Theatre critics keep returning to certain themes because playwrights keep returning to them; social critics do because life does. I’ve been writing for years that exporting democracy is importing trouble.

Can’t improve the Ten Commandments, but if Moses were to go back for another 10, the next set might include “Thou Shalt Build No Nation But Thine Own.” Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush was wise when he declared “no nation-building” during his first campaign for the White House. Had president Bush heeded candidate Bush’s sage advice, he would have disengaged his forces from Iraq after the capture of Saddam Hussein as rapidly as possible. Had he done so, chances are a) most coalition soldiers who lost their lives in the Second Gulf War would still be alive, and b) Mr. Bush’s approval rating would have stayed between 80% to 90% throughout his presidency.

Just think about it: Total coalition military fatalities were 580 at the end of 2003 when Saddam was captured. Fatalities in 2011, when Barack Obama pulled out the last American soldier from Iraq, stood at 4,802. It’s fair to say that 4,300 or about 88% died for no discernible military gain.

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See Also:

Heffer: Mass immigration, and how Labour tried to destroy Britishness

Doughty: Two in three London babies have at least one parent born abroad as ministers pledge to end era of multiculturalism

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11 Responses to Jonas: Exporting democracy – importing trouble (2)

  1. Jack says:

    I’m in complete agreement with Jonas regarding his stance in the lead column and have said so on a number of occasions for the same reasons he expresses. Beyond that I added two updates regarding immigration problems in Britain because they tend to tie in to the ongoing meltdown in the Middle East as people flee the fighting.

    Canada has this problem also.

  2. Cy says:

    Overthrowing a regime then taking off is even worse. The power vaccuum will be filled by extremists who peddle quick solutions. The other observations in this piece are hard to deny.

    As for immigration … any good points will be clouded by the fact that most of the same people have been complaining since the first post-Mayflower Italian set foot on the continent. Some people just can’t handle change, and it’s hard to have a good conversation about harmful immigration when so many opponents think all immigration is harmful.

    • Jack says:

      Re: “Overthrowing a regime then taking off is even worse. ”

      Disagree.

      It’s all about the money, Cy. Had Bush pulled out of Afghanistan and Iraq when he should have America this day would not be broke but he didn’t and it is.

      That was my immediate concern when he went into Afghanistan (how much is THIS going to cost). As it turned out — a lot.

      Same, same in Iraq.

      I’m not very concerned about people who are “hopeless by choice” half a world away. I am concerned about taxpayer debt incurred by nutty ideas fostered by our left in this country. As Jonas correctly pointed out democracy means different things to different people (read Libya) and now Syria. They are screaming for western help.

      To what end?

      Is that country also going to be taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood if we help them? Probably and my view is if they want to continue living in a 7th century democracy defined by their terms that’s fine. It’s their country. But I want no part of it. Canada has better things to spend it’s money on.

      It’s their problem. Not ours — and it should remain so.

      Unless of course they come and “bother us”. In that case we go and spank them — then leave — immediately.

      • Cy says:

        I must respectfully disagree.
        War is a tool conceived to win land and resources, not destroy ideas. It also doesn’t work against any force where the power base is not tied to geography. All we did in Afghanistan was nuke of a bunch of civs and a handful of Taliban, whom weren’t even our enemies until they refused to give up Bin Laden. Destroying infrastructure, familes and businesses hardened attitudes against the West (from Pakistan to Morocco), which gave AQ even more places to set up shop.

        The best option was probably not to “invade” Afghanistan at all and leave the dirty work to the CIA, who can quickly move around the world when chasing state-less menaces. They would also do it in a clandestine manner.

        Right wing pundits may not get their jollies from the body count, but at least we wouldn’t have to worry about international threats each time a local wingnut offends entire populations.

        • Jack says:

          “The best option was probably not to “invade” Afghanistan at all and leave the dirty work to the CIA, who can efficiently move around the world quickly when chasing state-less menaces. They would also do it in a clandestine manner.”

          It’s a thought but getting back to “taxpayer bucks”. Why should we bother at all? Are we all that frightened by what a country like Egypt (a basket case financially) might do to us if we fail to heed their blackmail?

          For that matter Iran?

          Who’s running scared here?

          The left or the right?

          Just asking.

          • Cy says:

            We all are running scared if there are terrorist attacks. It’s not an issue of left or right so much as neutralizing a threat without laying the groundwork for futher threats. The latter wastes more money than any “leftist” social program, to be sure.

            Pakistan is nuclear and shortly Iran will be as well. Seeings these nations destabilized could result in nukes falling into irrational hands (to say nothing of jets, tanks, etc). Unfortunately we can’t merely shut our eyes and pretend it could never affect us, given historic relations between the West and … most of the rest of the world.

    • beentheredonethat says:

      “Some people just can’t handle change, and it’s hard to have a good conversation about harmful immigration when so many opponents think all immigration is harmful.”

      No, it’s not at all, Cy. All that is needed is to talk sense instead of nonsense. Sure, there are a small minority who will not listen to anything pro-immigration but in my view they are outright racists and comprise a small minority (although they make a lot of noise). Others who are against all immigration generally will almost always change their minds if the issue is discussed in the context of having strict laws and strict enforcement. Absolute control of our own borders. IMO the vast majority of those opposed to all immigration are opposed because of our seriously flawed system. They see the only solution is to either fix the broken system or stop it completely. They’ve got a point.

  3. Jack says:

    Re: “We all are running scared if there are terrorist attacks. ”

    There’s the problem, Cy and the left uses it to good advantage. My view is that “we should be running angry” instead and if terrorists hit us with an attack we advance and beat the sponsoring country to death with a very big baseball bat.

    They aren’t stupid and they CAN learn. Apparently, my patience is wearing thin with the lefty “fear factor”.

    “Nuff said”.

    • Cy says:

      Point taken … although the fear factor seems more evident in those who want to invade new countries, provide color-coded terror alerts and want to expel every Muslim community group from the Pacific to the Atlantic. It’s not the left doing those things. Rather, the left is pilloried as “politically correct” and full of “white guilt” for wanting to embrace the majority of Muslims as humans.

    • stageleft says:

      [T]he left uses it to good advantage?

      Come on Jack, how often have, for lack of better terms, our “right-wing” governments used the spectre of terrorism to pass (or try to pass) repressive and intrusive laws?

  4. beentheredonethat says:

    “Rather, the left is pilloried as “politically correct” and full of “white guilt” for wanting to embrace the majority of Muslims as humans.”

    Ah..the left. “Politically correct”………in truth political correctness gone mad. That’s why the left can’t tell the difference between a good Muslim and a bad one. Nor do they want to even dare try for fear of offending. Around the circle it goes, right back to political correctness. The prosecution rests its case…….

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/291737/guess-who-decides-what-fbi-agents-get-learn-about-islam-andrew-c-mccarthy

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