Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Democracy for Me But Not Thee

AP reports on a poll asking if it should be the roll of the US to spread democracy.

A majority of people in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain said they thought it should not be the U.S. role to spread democracy, according to AP-Ipsos polls. A majority of those living in Canada, Mexico and South Korea (news - web sites) also disagreed with that role.

Strange, their forefathers felt differently when they were about to lose theirs.

Ok, so if not the US who then? Maybe no one?

"Europeans in general — especially the European elites — tend to be more cynical about the possibilities of exporting democracy," said Mandelbaum, author of the book "Ideas That Conquered the World: Peace, Democracy and Free Markets." "There is a general feeling that democracy just doesn't fit some cultures."

Which ones? Afghanistan and Iraq would disagree with that. So would the Ukraine. You have to pay to see the poll particulars but I imagine that these three countries were not polled. Now I wonder why that could be?

I would also like to know if Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Iran were polled.

I see a picture emerging here. The countries that already have freedom don't want to pay the price their forefathers paid to bring it to others - Freedom for me but not thee.

Gerard Baker summed it up well.

Gerard Baker.

These differences are not just awkward, inconvenient blots on an otherwise pleasant landscape of Atlantic unity. They are great, ugly cleavages in basic perceptions, strategy, and policy. The Bush administration remains committed to revolutionary change throughout the world and, just as the Reagan administration did, believes America's security is inextricably tied up with the advance of liberty well beyond its borders. Europeans, meanwhile, are ever more staunch in their defense of the status quo, however unfree that may leave people. Stability, not liberty, is their aim.

Ah, but that stability is just an illusion.

What these countries are blind to is the radical Islamic fundamentalist breeding ground the tyrants are providing. Remember, Bin Laden attacked the US embassies and the Twin Towers before Afghanistan and Iraq were liberated. Not the other way round. These terrorists are not leaving their breeding grounds in any great number and taking up residence in America. They're moving to Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain; the countries that say they are against the US spreading democracy. Now there's a coincidence.

Don't believe me? Check out Tightening al-Qaeda's European grip.

How bad can it get? Well for a start the Dutch are locking up their MPs to keep them safe from Islamic terrorists. And Dutchman Van Goh was murdered for making a film critical of the way Muslims treat their women.

Europe, as they say, watch out what you wish for, you may just get it.


Janet Daley writing in The Telegraph nails it.

This entirely unresearched, academically unsound theory of mine came back to me as I listened to George W Bush telling Europeans that his campaign for liberty and democracy arose directly from ideals that had originated with them. You could almost hear the injured bewilderment in his voice: this was all your idea in the first place. Whatever happened to your commitment to the values enshrined in Magna Carta and the French Revolution - the doctrine of the rights of man and of government by consent? And if you are still committed to those principles, why can you not see the need to extend them to parts of the world that are still deprived of them?


Europeans have found something better, and more readily controlled, as a substitute for personal liberty. They have found wealth: mass prosperity and the kind of government-subsidised economic security that their countries, traumatised by generations of war and unrest, have never known. Since the Cold War ended, they have been able to consolidate the post-war economic miracle with a "peace dividend": all that money that used to be spent on arms could go into more and more generous welfare and pension arrangements. So now they are not even fit to defend themselves, or to sort out a mess in their own Balkan backyard. Why should they join in any crazy scheme to bring peace to the rest of the world?


The tsunami disaster illustrated that in spades.

Europe is in a war with an enemy that it doesn't understand and is not equipped to fight - Islamic terrorism.

So, Europe tries the appeasement route - again. Look where that got them last time.

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