Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Politics of the Day - David Brooks
Compares Iraqis to repentant ex-communists.
"...Chambers broke with the Communist Party in 1938, testified against Alger Hiss in 1948, and then emerged as a melancholy but profound champion of freedom. Chambers once wrote a letter to William F. Buckley in which he explained that a former Communist has certain advantages in understanding the truly evil nature of his foe."
Seems to forget that the majority of the world does not enjoy democracy.
"...And yet what we've witnessed in Iraq is a people's zigzag efforts to climb back from nihilism toward normalcy, from a universe in which the ballot is already filled out for you to a universe in which you make your own mark. This is not a small step."
Assumes that 'moderation' is a human 'habit', which takes time to emerge in the aggregate:
"...When Saddam was first toppled, liberty turned immediately into anarchy. But as Michael Rubin, who has spent much of the past two years in Iraq, observed yesterday in The Wall Street Journal, gradually the habits of moderation have begun to develop - the habits of self-regulating liberty, compromise, tolerance and power-sharing."
Tells us the Iraqis liberated themselves.
"...They proudly described liberating themselves, finally making themselves the initiators of their own lives."
Because, apparently, they wanted therapy and self-education.
"...In fact, these are a people who voted at higher rates in the face of death than we do in the face of inconvenience. These are a people who have used the campaign as a process of therapy and self-education. These people have just built the most democratic government in the Arab world."
The almost totally transparent fatheadedness and colossal moral bankruptcy of these facile, idiotic arguments actually makes my head spin. My kid sister could tell you that comparing the entire Iraqi people to a single Communist who switched sides is, well, a little problematic.
Ultimately, it's self-righteous moralizing bs like this that completely glosses over the very real fact that elections do not a democracy make. Bolding's mine - there are example all over the world of countries who regularly hold elections, but aren't really in any significant way democratic.