American Elephants

A Few Appropriate Words from Charles Krauthammer. by The Elephant's Child
July 2, 2009, 12:22 am
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Iraq, Middle East | Tags: , ,

Charles Krauthammer said something important last night, as he often does.  He spoke about Obama’s remarks as U.S. troops withdrew from Iraqi cities yesterday:

He referred to what we have achieved as a “sovereign, stable, self-reliant” Iraq.  He left out one word, and he left it out because it was a George Bush word —democracy.  That was a Bush idea — to implant a democracy in Iraq.

If we had wanted to have merely a sovereign, stable self-reliant Iraq, we could have chosen a Saddamist general to succeed Saddam after the war and gotten out.

It’s true that the democracy established here is a fragile one.  It’s still struggling, and we will argue for decades over whether it was worth the 4,000 American lives, as we still argue half a century later whether or not it was worth 36,000 lives to salvage a democracy in half of the Korean Peninsula.

Nonetheless, it [Iraq] is a democracy, and that’s what makes it unique and distinctive, and an amazing achievement in a sea of autocracies and dictatorships — having an effect, by example, on Lebanon, on the Gulf states, and even on Iran, where Iranians look to their west and see a country which is also Shiite, Arab, (which the Persians consider culturally inferior), and yet it has a democracy, it has elections, it has an Ayatollah Sistani who says the clerics ought to stay out of politics, and the Iranians are living under a sixth-century dictatorship run by mullahs.

So it’s a remarkable achievement, and we ought to emphasize what we have achieved in terms of democracy.

And it’s a pity that the president ignores that because the democratic nature of Iraq will establish the basis for a strategic alliance between America and Iraq in the future.

So well done, President Bush, and well done, U.S. troops.  You have accomplished wonders that seemed, for a time, impossible.   And well done, Mr. Krauthammer, for pointing it out so gracefully.

2 Comments so far
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He left out the word “democracy” deliberately. Dearest, Dearest Leader doesn’t particularly like democracy.


Comment by Richard



Comment by The Elephant's Child

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