US MIDEAST POLICY
By Micah Halpern
Saturday March 19, 2005
I've Been Thinking:
The United States, in the name of freedom and democracy, is planning to nudge the greater Middle East in the direction of freedom and democracy, Middle East style, of course.
There are some issues that worry me about this transformation.
I am convinced that a true majority of the masses really do want liberalization and democratization. But... there are two buts.
But # 1- The people now in charge, i.e. the powers-that-be in the oil states, and the dictators do not in any way want change nor are they willing to relinquish control, power and wealth.
But# 2- There is a large and very vocal religious minority in the region. That minority is very well organized and, most importantly, very violent. They see democracy as an American import. In their eyes democracy is anathema to Islam.
Does that mean that the United States should just butt out? No.
It is not enough to just speak of freedom and democracy.