Why, thank you. “One guy who got it right from the beginning about the Iraq War,” by Paul Mulshine in The Star Ledger, March 20:
IÂ saw Robert Spencer on a panel at CPAC last week. He was making the same point I’ve often made about imposing democracy on the Mideast.
And that point is: If you grant majority rule to a majority that believes in imposing Islamic law, then you may have advanced democracy but you haven’t advanced liberty.
By the way, boys and girls, liberty and democracy areÂ antonyms, not synonyms.
As the old saying goes, democracy is two foxes and a hen voting on what to have for dinner.
In this case, the hen is any non-Muslim in the Mideast. That’s the background of Robert Spencer. He comes from a Christian family in the Mideast and thus has a bit more insight than a certain Christian from Texas who decided to spread democracy to Iraq 10 years ago.
Here’s what Spencer wrote back then:
Insisting that the nations of the Middle East choose between Western-style democracy or the terror state will do more harm than good.
The president believes that democracy can succeed in Iraq, and in the Islamic world in general, because human nature is the same everywhere on earth. “It is presumptuous and insulting,” he told the American Enterprise Institute, “to suggest that a whole region of the world — for the one-fifth of humanity that is Muslim — is somehow untouched by the most basic aspirations of life. Human cultures can be vastly different. Yet the human heart desires the same good things, everywhere on earth.”…
…the Tunisian theorist Mohamed Elhachmi Hamdi, author of an intriguing essay entitled “Islam and Liberal Democracy: The Limits of the Western Model.” In it, he opines: “The heart of the matter is that no Islamic state can be legitimate in the eyes of its subjects without obeying the main teachings of the Shariah.” Rather than looking to Western models, Islamic states should look to their own tradition: “Islam should be the main frame of reference for the constitution and laws of predominantly Muslim countries.”
Within that frame of reference freedom means something quite different from what it does in the West. Governments that follow it in whole or in part generally have a poor record on women’s rights. Women suffer restrictions that are quite severe in some parts of the Islamic world; in some places they cannot even leave their homes without their husband’s permission. Their testimony is disallowed in cases of a sexual nature, even if they are raped.
Shariah law also sets penalties, some of which have become quite notorious: amputation for theft, stoning for adultery. Can this structure be modified?
Read the whole thing. then read this article about how Christians were run out of Iraq thanks to Bush’s liberation of the Muslims.
LONDON — Rana stepped out of church in Baghdad in December 2006 to find an envelope wedged against her car windshield. Inside was a bullet — a message that meant she and her family were next on an assassin’s list.
They fled the city the next day, leaving behind a business, a home — everything.
“I didn’t like Saddam Hussein, but he didn’t bother the Christians,” said Rana, 29, after a church service in London. “He was a dictator. When he went, the gangs came from everywhere.”
It’s hard to escape the fact that George W. was the worst president in U.S. history. He certainly had the most unforced errors. And most of those errors followed from his policy of liberating the very people who attacked us.
I think the present incumbent is giving Mr. Bush a run for his money as the worst president in U.S. history, and there was also that Carter fellow, but anyway…