THE MIDDLE EAST DEMOCRACY EXPERIMENT WINDS DOWN
President Bush still refuses to acknowledge what the rest of the world already knows, along with a growing majority of Americans : The 'democracy experiment' in the Middle East has failed, the 'War On Iraq' is a disaster, and the 'War On Afghanistan' is rapidly going the same way as Iraq.
So it's time for Bush to change the tune he's been singing for near on five years.
It's not all about bringing democracy into the Middle East and Afghanistan anymore, now it's about dividing the "moderates" from the "extremists", though the definition of "extremist" is as vague as the 'Global War On Terror' definition of "terrorism". Even as we move into the sixth year of the GWoT, there is still not an international consensus on what determines an action to be an "act of terrorism".
The new song Bush is singing is all about "idealogies" of hatred, and extremism, and how they must be "defeated". But leaders across the Middle East are growing impatient with Bush Co. They know one of the greatest motivators, and recruiting agents, for "extremist idealologies" is the bloodbath that is the 'War On Iraq' and the never-ending humiliation of the Palestinian people by Israel.
Terrorism barely gets a mention anymore in Bush speeches, which also means, then, that the 'T' word is rarely uttered by coalition leaders like British prime minister Tony Blair and Australian prime minister John Howard.
For Bush Co now, it's all about the "extremists". It's the new new Bush Doctrine.
From the Boston Globe :
Belatedly, the debate in (the Bush) administration appears to have been won by those who recognize that equating successful counter-terrorism with implanting democracy is naive (witness the exploitation of democracy by Hamas, Hezbollah, and militant Shi'ites in Iraq), and also embarrassing to intransigently undemocratic governments (like Pakistan) that the United States is courting, not only for help in combating terrorism but also for reasons of arms control, access to energy, military bases, and hospitality to US investments (including Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, and of course China).
...the renewed recognition of Afghanistan as the flashpoint in the effort to eradicate Al Qaeda and a realistic backing away from hubristic neoconservative illusions about democratic peace growing out of the barrel of a gun...should be welcomed, despite their obvious purpose of shifting the political spotlight away from the administration's gross ineptitude in Iraq.
The new Bush doctrine of supporting "moderate" regimes and movements against the extremists sounds like a realistic accommodation to the reality that not all those upon whom the United States depends for its security and well-being can pass a litmus test for democracy and human rights.
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