Monday, May 23, 2005

Empire of Freedom?

Is that an oxymoron? Perhaps it is time to reevaluate our Cold War attitudes that compel us to set up democratic governments in unsuspecting countries. Some countries may be better off without democracy, at least for the time being. Major political changes should be ground up movements started by indigenous peoples. I don't think it is any more correct of us to force our government on other people than it was of Catholics in the 1500s to force their religion on people. Of course we believe that we are the bright and shiny example of what's right. Everyone else believes the same things of their country. While we pride ourselves on our freedoms, Iranians pride themselves on their lack of pornography, drug use, and gambling. Anyone that thinks Iraqis are better off should talk to an Iraqi. All of the Kurds that were randomly attacked are happy. All of the minority Sunnis that formerly controlled the country are upset. Most of the majority Shiites enjoy the freedom of speech that they have now, but they also enjoyed the lack of suicide bombers and the political stability they had under the Saddam regime. I've talked to dozens of Islamic cab drivers that claim democracy would destroy their home countries. Some nations are barely being held together by a heavy handed dictator that prevents dozens of religions and hundreds of ethnic groups from tearing each other apart. They accept their lack of freedom in return for the protection from a bloody and protracted civil war. So maybe its time to call back in all of our democracy missionaries for a little while.

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