Democracy Is Dangerous
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
I look at the utter mess in Egypt and I think: THIS is what democracy has wrought!
OK. Before you climb all over me for my seeming put-down of democracy, hear me out.
am now more convinced than ever that some people, some nations of
peoples, simple cannot handle democracy. They are not ready for it.
Some never will be. The grandiose idea that we, the US, can spread
democracy throughout the world has proven to be America's bite too big
to chew, and certainly, too big to swallow.
would think after serial failures in the Middle East, notably, Iraq,
Afghanistan, and now Egypt, the US would recognize the utter futility of
establishing an American style representative republic in any of those
lands where Islamists hold sway.
Freedom is scary and it is
dangerous. Even here in the land of the free, America, where a sizable
portion of the citizenry's ancestors had freedom handed to them one
hundred and fifty years ago, have yet to learn how to handle it. A
century and a half later they still require help from the government
that purportedly freed them. Being free is not easy.
Muslim countries of the Middle East, their definition of freedom is
quite different from our definition. They have found their freedom
within the confines of Shariah Law. True freedom, such as we enjoy in
America, cannot exist in a state in which it must compete with Shariah
Law. If you doubt that, look at Egypt today. It is a roiling inferno
of religious passion, hate, lust for power, despotism, and control.
Imad Eddine Adeeb, an Egyptian columnist, in the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al Awsat has said:
"We lack the culture of democracy, and our institutions are still
outdated, corrupt and decaying, operating with the same old
administrative structures and tattered values and moral codes, all of
which have nothing to do with democracy."
There are considered to be fourteen countries in the Middle East. Only two of those countries are electoral democracies. ONLY TWO. They are, of course, Israel and Turkey.
seems that those of us in the west are just beginning to realize the
unique challenges of bringing democracy to tribal societies. We are
learning, much to our chagrin, that there are, in fact, some cultures
that are simply not, repeat -- NOT, capable of creating a harmonious
society of any kind, democratic, tribal, or otherwise.
free election does not guarantee the voters in the newly democratic
nation will not vote themselves a new dictator. We've already seen
guess is that when all the smoke finally settles in the Middle East and
the so-called Arab Spring has finally sprung, the world will be right
back where it started -- or very near it. I expect "strongman" rulers
in all the Muslim nations now in turmoil. Why? Because the people of
those nations are just not ready for a government in which they,
themselves, take responsibility for their government. Maybe in another
century or two, but certainly, not now.
In the meantime, the US ought to stop meddling. Let them alone.
If they want to fight and annihilate each other, more power to them.
Let them have at it. If, and when, they strike out at us, smack them
down -- hard. Otherwise, leave them alone.
Look, it is just extremely difficult for me to become concerned when I see the enemies of my country busily, and industriously, slaughtering each other.
And it seems utterly nonsensical to me for elements within the US
government to insist that we supply weapons to help one side, or the
other, thereby inserting the US into the middle of a civil war that is,
in fact, working to our advantage by decreasing the numbers of our
One has to wonder if Israel would not be better served
if Assad's forces eventually win the ongoing conflict in Syria. Israel
and Assad's governments know and understand each other -- and they know
just how far one can push the other. A new Islamist dictatorship in Syria will almost certainly lead to war with Israel.
we have seen, democracy did not lead to peace, love, and joy in Egypt.
Why in the world would we think it would do so in Syria should the
forces in rebellion to Assad win and decide democracy is the way to go
for them, as well.
Yes. Democracy IS dangerous. Even a
limited democracy, such as our constitutional republic can be
dangerous. With all the checks and balances we have in the US, we have
seen how ignorance can produce a socialist/Marxist government in
America, the citadel of democracy, itself.
I am of the
opinion that we Americans need to clean up around our own doorstep
before we go meddling in other nations conflicts. We have enough
problems to keep us occupied for at least a few decades.
© J. D. Longstreet