Loud and clear
Finally, an intelligent conservative writing in a mainstream conservative publication speaks the clear and uncivil truth about President Bush’s and the neocons’ Soviet-like denial of reality in support of Bush’s disastrous policy to democratize the Muslim world. Addressing someone named John, but without linking to John’s article (perhaps an entry at the Corner?), McCarthy writes, with unusual fire:
The basic thing you and those who agree with you insist on as an article of faith—namely, that “of course terrorism and democracy are irreconcilable”—is demonstrably wrong. Whether you like it or not, terrorists have great popular support in Lebanon. It may not be majority popular support, but it is at least substantial popular support. The same is true in the other “young democracies” in the Middle East. As long as the administration continues to confound popular elections with democracy—which is exactly what it is doing, whether you admit it or not—we are going to see this.Three cheers for Andrew McCarthy.
Also, at Powerline, see Paul’s well written and cogent summary of the central problem with the Bush Doctrine, namely the incoherence of fighting Muslim terror and promoting Muslim democracy at the same time. Paul’s critique is not the familiar one (familiar, that is, within the tiny circle of rational Bush critics), that if Muslims have democracy they will elect terrorist governments. Rather, he points out that the two-pronged policy makes us hold back from fighting and even opposing the terrorists, because we think that fighting and opposing the terrorists will discourage them from democratization and nation-building. In short, we’re pursuing war and utopian liberalism at the same time, and the utopian liberalism keeps undermining the war.
It’s an illuminating analysis, but Paul doesn’t take it far enough. He writes:
“In the end, I agree [with Norman Podhoretz] that the Bush Doctrine is not dead. However, I fear that the Doctrine may have a fever due to a serious tension between two of its primary elements.”
Sorry, Paul. It’s not a serious tension. It’s a FATAL CONTRADICTION.