What does Democracy mean (for Iraq)?
: The people of Iraq must have a democracy. They deserve nothing less.
: Coming home the other night, I turned on the radio and heard someone with an accent say dismissively that you just can’t force democracy on a country — namely, Iraq. I came in too late to hear who said it. And, unfortunately, the NPR reporter didn’t bother to question the statement. For it was hogwash.
Democracy was “forced” on Germany and Japan and it has worked splendidly, just as well as (if not better than) it has worked in countries that came by democracy through popular uprising and revolt. Their Germans and the Japanese — once assumed to be incapable of managing democracy themselves — have long-since and resoundingly proven all their condescending naysayers wrong. They have proven that when people are given a chance to govern themselves, they will do it eagerly and well — in fits and starts, perhaps, but in the end, well.
: Now there is a school of thought that asks, what if the Iraqis choose a theocracy or even a dictatorship instead of democracy? That’s certainly what we’re hearing from Shiite clerics in Iraq. I’m hearing rumblings of this from the anti-war club.
A superb weblog by an Iranian called the Eyeranian poses the question well:
To me a dictatorship, mixed with visions of divine responsibilities is probably the most horrendous type of repression possible. Close to a quarter of a century of an autocratic government in Iran, bringing mass executions, murders, large-scale imprisonments, terror, oppression and corruption is the prime confirmation of this line of reasoning….
Having said that, one of the bases for any true democracy is to accept the people