Andy McCarthy says PFEH to Democracy

Friday, July 14, 2006
At the Corner, Andy McCarthy gets emotional:

We've been told for some time now — against common sense and the weight of our own national experience — that the way to defeat international jihadism is to spread democracy...

Democracy has many enduring benefits, but it doesn't stop terrorists from operating — and in many ways, it makes life easier for them. When are we going to stop talking about it as a national security cure-all?

Democracy is a process, Andy, and is a long-term solution not an immediate salve. During this process the citizens of any one nation will have their own internal battles to determine their own best options for maintaining their own lives, liberties, and pursuits of happiness.

When the Islamist Jihadi movement interferes with their own aspirations, these peoples have a legitimate beef and will marginalize them. Each democratic nation in its own way. And since these democracies do not reside in a vacuum, but are part of the international community, the consequences brought upon them by another nation in retaliation for the actions of any group/movement doing something stupid will be part of their own decision making process.

Yes, Hamas IS the government of the Palestinians. But that actually is to Israel's advantage because incursions of terrorists onto Israeli soil is now an internationally recognized breach of Israel's sovereignty and an act of war. Israel does not occupy Gaza therefore Hamas actions can no longer be viewed as a resistance to occupation. Though, of course, habit and decades of ranting by the international community against Israel hasn't quite caught up with the current facts on the ground.

The Lebanon situation could be viewed as similar, though not the same. Hezbollah is not a terrorist group acting on its own, it has legitimate seats in Lebanon's governing body. Therefore Hezbollah's incursion onto Israeli soil and capture of two soldiers can't be simply dismissed as a rogue element residing in the country. Hezbollah's inclusion in the political process means it has a say in the policy decisions of the country.

Of course we have long held that terrorists, even if not in the political process, can be a target for retaliation. Countries can be held responsible simply for harboring them. But in a democracy, the rest of the citizens of those countries have a say as to whether those terrorists will be harbored or not. And that is the advantage of democratizing these countries.

Since democracy is a learning process, the marginalization and disarmament of the terrorist groups in each country will take time. How much time depends on many factors, including the willingness of the citizens to go through the difficulties and internal violence necessary to complete the process, and the efforts of the international community to remove the influence of terror sponsoring nations such as Iran and Saudi Arabia.

In the meantime, yes, there are still terrorists and the Islamic Jihadi movement wreaking havoc around the globe and efforts to defeat them are ongoing. Democratization is only part of the process, and it runs in parallell with our other efforts, but it is the part that holds the best hope for a longterm solution.


terrye said...

Gale and I had this discussion last night. He said he thought that things were no better or might even be worse since we tried to bring democracy to the ME. Of course Gale is of the just bomb the hell out of em school of political science anyway.

So I said, Does that mean we would be better off if all the ME was like Iran and Syria? Because in case no one has noticed they are not democracies. Is that what you want? That was the end of the discussion. He gives up too easy.

It is better if Hamas wins because that way it is out in the open. No more pretending that these people are just some pawns. They elected these folks, now they have to deal with the consequences. That is what being part of an autocratic society does to people, it makes them think of themselves always as victims, as helpless.

So, if we decide that democracy is a bust.... what are we supposed to do, find some strongman and support him? Like Saddam maybe... and how did that work out? Or maybe just bomb em and leave em to their own devices like the world did Afghanistan, yep that went well. Or maybe just say so sorry and go home, like we did after the mullahs took our embassy in Tehran. Yeah, that had a positive long term effect.

The truth is spreading democracy is not a short term solution to the problem. It is long term and no one has said that in the meantime we do not hunt down and destroy the Islamists.

Since when did spreading democracy and fighting terrorists become mutually exclusive?

I heard some Egyptian talking about this not long ago and he said that Mubarek used the Muslim Brotherhood to scare people away from democracy. He said that there were a lot of Egyptians who would support more rational alternatives but Mubarek went after the rational alternatives and let the Muslim Brotherhood win just enough support to scare people, that way he can tell people he is the lesser of evils. He does this the Egyptian said because he knows he can not win fair and square.

Whether this is true or not I don't know, but it tells me that for the first time the people in places like are thinking about democracy and changing their world.

Back in the 20's the KKK was winning statewide elections in states like Indiana and Tennessee..does that mean Americans were not ready for democracy?

Syl said...

Out of the park, Terrye! Bravo!

CF said...

He has not impressed me at all--beginning with his defense of Fitzgerald, continuing to his analysis of Hamdan the other day and now this B.S. He has now gone to my ignore list or writers.
It seems to me the ME is suffering some psychosis and making people responsible for working rationally together to solve real matters of governance is the best antidote to magical thinking of a reutrn to the glories of Andalusia as they wade thru goat shyte.

Syl said...


What matters to me more than listening to anyone in America's chattering class--no matter who--is the statement of an Iraqi on a BBC Arab board that the world does not belong to their ancestors.

The debate going on in unnoticed quarters in the M.E. concerning governance is far more important.

Thank you, Mr. Bush.