There are just under 200 countries in the world. Many of them are horribly run by tyrants. I wish that weren't true. If the United Nations has a plan to bring enlightened democracy to everyone, I'd like to hear it.
This is the same United Nations that had Libya on its Human Rights Council up until a month ago, even chairing the council at one point in the recent past. The same United Nations that makes tons of money vanish in things like Oil-For-Food. The UN is worthless. The despots know the UN is toothless, and all it does is try to restrain civilized nations from acting.
Whatever genuinely beneficial international actions the UN provides – I’m sure there must be something – would find another outlet if those civilized nations withdrew entirely. Let the despots have their own little club, preferably away from American soil. It’s not like there isn’t back and forth all the time between pretty much every nation on Earth every day.
Enlightened democracy comes when people actually want it. Are Germany and Japan freaks of nations because their democracy was imposed at gunpoint? The conflict of civilizations has gone on since, well, the dawn of civilization, and the mere existence of enlightened democracy is a natural threat to despots. Whatever the good intentions/noble foundations of an organization like the United Nations, it always winds up benefiting the “bad people” more than everyone else. The UN can’t exist without the civilized nations making it possible, and the uncivilized nations don’t care in the first place except as a weapon to use against anyone they perceive as their enemies. These invariably include the enlightened democracies. It’s only been a couple years since Sudan was kicked off the UN Human Rights Commission. Meantime, like Libya, like Iran, it’s been a reliable anti-Israel vote so the dominant bloc at the UN doesn’t care what they do to their own people.
In the meantime, we are just one country. There is something alarming about the idea that we have the unilateral right -- not to mention the requisite expertise -- to attack other countries because we aren't pleased (any longer) with their tyrants.
You’re the one who chooses to view it in those terms. Do Britain and France have the “requisite expertise”, because they’ve both pushed this recent operation heavily and Britain is part of the (much larger) coalition GWB formed for Iraq and Afghanistan. How do you measure experience anyway? How many other nations have had the same form of government and peaceable changes of leadership for over 225 years?
Also you choose to view it as being “pleased” with their tyrants. Again, enlightened democracy comes when people actually want it. Human nature being what it is, the alternatives to the tyrants that be are usually much worse so what you see as being “pleased” is actually an acceptance of reality. For instance, I think Qaddaffi was absolutely right a few weeks ago when he said the alternative to him was chaos. Libya is not currently governable by anything except brute force.
However, one can follow a straight line of progress and civilization from Mesopotamia through the administration we must never take for granted, ran by a man named Barack Hussein Obama. [well, he tells us we can’t take it for granted anyway, not that this will help him 576 days from now]
For one thing, we spent much of the 20th century installing and supporting some of the worst of these tyrants, so any concern we express now seems disingenuous at best.
This is condescending, elitist and removes any responsibility from the tyrants or the countries they rule for their own decisions and actions. America is not the source of all evil, much as some might wish otherwise.
I am happy that Afghan girls in the urban areas now can attend school. (In the rural areas, the Taliban has resumed its control; we really don't have a grip on that place, and we never will.)
Enlightened democracy comes when people actually want it.
Was that worth the staggering cost in everyone's blood and fortune that will continue for years? Are we planning to do the same in the other countries where women are treated like second-class citizens?
Depends, what is life like for the men in these countries? Or don’t they matter?
We invaded Afghanistan to capture or kill Osama bin Laden because he orchestrated the 9/11 attacks on us, and the Taliban regime would not surrender him to us. This seemed legitimate. A decade later, Osama remains at large and we've invented a dozen other fine justifications for our bloody Afghan adventure, having failed in our original mission. We are still there and will remain there indefinitely.
Bin Laden is not The Enemy, he’s *an* enemy who made a particularly devastating strike on the American homeland. The clash of civilizations went on before him and (assuming he’s still alive) will go on long after him. Notice how Lara Logan (Superman’s girlfriend) suddenly dropped off the front pages. Shouldn’t Katie Couric and the chicks on The View rush to Cairo to show that life without Mubarek is much better for infidel women dressed like whores? No, extremist Islam is the problem, tribalism is the problem, Judenhass is the problem, and acts of terrorism to enhance any of these are what we have to fight.
We invaded Iraq because Saddam Hussein, we were assured, had and planned to use Weapons of Mass Destruction. Plus, we would be greeted as liberators by grateful Iraqis. None of this was true, of course. But we are still there and will remain there indefinitely.
And we provide a sterling beacon what enlightened democracies can do, deep in the heartland of the Caliphate our enemies are attempting to restore.
[quote]These are the risks of throwing around our military without thinking ahead or having any consistent strategies.[quote]
You’re the one assuming (a) the military is being thrown around (b) there has been no thinking ahead and (c) there has been no consistent strategies? At a rough guess, I’d say there’s at least a 25% chance that Obama was told long ago that these demonstrations were coming and he’s handled it… not WELL, but much better than the rest of his Presidency so far.
Of course that leaves up to a 75% chance that he really is handling this as poorly as he appears to be, but that doesn’t prove the absence of a consistent strategy or the lack of forethought, merely an ineffective President of the United States who foolishly defers to the United Nations and other things that benefit despots. Not the first nor the last, unfortunately.
There are people and cultures that cannot survive contact with enlightened democracy, that are too fundamentally destructive of everything worthwhile about being human, being alive and being endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. They will kill themselves rather than permit life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (or Truth, Justice and the American Way). More preferable (to them) is to rule.
Qaddaffi certainly falls into that category. “Regime change” is an eminently defensible policy in Libya. If you disagree with that, there’s no way you can possibly argue in favor of providing clean drinking water or whatever to other nations. A bad person doing extremely bad things with no end in sight, if we don’t stop him, no one will. If France wants to do themselves, if Israel wants to do it themselves, by all means. It has to be done. If Qaddaffi had done this 25 years ago, Reagan would have been right to take these actions (all else being equal). If Hugo Chavez or Mugabe or Scott Walker start copying Qaddaffi’s actions, kinetic military action IS the answer. Like it or not.
We live in society where an infidel woman dressed like a whore should be able to walk by herself with a reasonable expectation of safety. [insert joke about women being reasonable] If you physically assault an infidel woman dressed like a whore, you deserve to have kinetic military action taken against you and your continued survival is purely a matter of luck. Our culture has it a matter of objective law that the woman herself can carry a deadly weapon, as can every other law-abiding adult without a criminal record or history of mental illness.
The underlying principles are writ large and small, from our individual lives to the overarching cultures we live in. Our principles are founded in the Constitution, in our businesses and schools and laws and factories and families and pioneers and artists and aristocrats, developed step by painstaking step since civilization was born in Mesopotamia six thousand years ago. The right to own property, to write and speak freely, to leave, to keep one’s own privacy, to succeed or fail on one’s own merits. There are always bad people and there always will be, but people are basically good and learn from their mistakes.
Science, organized religion and capitalism have brought much misery and destruction, but they have all brought more enrichment to more lives than the alternatives, and often the same person brought both. When individuals get together in groups, things become far more complicated, but the underlying principles will remain.