Monday, September 04, 2006

In its effort to promote democracy, the United States blows.

Former Iranian President - and noted moderate - Mohammad Khatami is right on the money with his comments made during a trip to the United States this week:

"(Q)uite frankly, I would tell (Bush) that the policies that the United States has chosen unfortunately have brought about the wrong sentiment toward the United States and has only increased, and will only increase, extremism in our region."

He argued that the U.S. invasion of Iraq has increased hatred for the United States in the Mideast, leading more young people to join terrorist groups.

While the United States tries to force others to accept democracy, its overtly militaristic approach to the Middle East serves only to tick them off. It would tick me off, too.

In many ways, the United States' approach is similar to that of the Wind in Aesop's well-known fable about the battle between the Sun and the Wind to entice a man to remove his cloak. The lesson being that kindness effects more than severity. As the U.S. attempts to blow its way through the Middle East, its harsh manner only serves to alienate people rather than to encourage them to open up to a message of freedom and democracy.

Perhaps U.S. policy makers could take a lesson from the Sun, which used a much more subtle and warming method to achieve its objective.

Former President Khatami said it well:

Asked what he would tell President Bush if he could speak with him, Khatami replied: "I would tell him that the United States, with all of its might and resources, can, side by side with the good people of the Middle East, bring about a new experience and the creation of democracy and the advancement of democracy, even though the way to democracy may have been slow originating in the Mideast. With a change of the language going from threats to ... mutual understanding, the United States can have a better position in the region.

Sadly, the Bush administration and its neo-con power center likely will turn deaf ears to Mr. Khatami's sound advice. After all, it's the way they do things. They don't listen. They just look for more people to attack, either literally or figuratively.

I guess one could say that Mr. Khatami sees the light, while the Bush administration just blows.

So what else is new?


At 10:36 AM, Blogger pissed off patricia said...

I completely agree with you. You can't do everything at the point of a gun or the dropping of a bomb. I think this administration enjoys something about killing people. Yeah, that sure is sick.

At 5:09 PM, Blogger DrewL said...


For an administration full of people who allegedly believe in the "business" model of governance, they sure do have difficulty engaging in negotiation with others. The business world is all about negotiation. That's why most major business schools, including the one I attended, teach courses in negotiation strategy. But the Bush administration seems to have no use for negotiation. They simply roll out their guns and start firing away. They don't talk to others. They simply push their way through the crowd.

The bottom line is that they are bullies. And that's how most of the world sees them and, by extension, us. So it should be no surprise to any of us how the rest of the world reacts to the tactics of a bully. It demonstrates precisely how and why terrorism germanates.

Our forefathers fought against the tactics of a bully by engaging in what today would be referred to as terrorism. Our colonial revolutionary army of the 1770s would have been considered a terrorist organization by today's frenzied standards. Our nation descends from terrorists...thankfully.

As is often said, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

At 5:22 PM, Blogger Meatball One said...

If anyone wants to check it out, it's there to be confirmed; The spreading of democracy was only offered as a pretext for hitting Iraq after it became obvious to all that the WMD pretext was bogus and we were already inside Iraq. Only then did the democracy angle begin to be played. It was never on the table from the getgo. Easy to forget.

At 6:29 PM, Blogger DrewL said...


Interestingly, I do recall vividly that the earliest anything other than WMD was used as a rationale for attacking Iraq was a couple of days before the initial attack, when I read an article online with talk about "freeing the Iraqi people from a brutal dictator". I remember being confused at the time, as I had thought they were only doing it to relieve Saddam from his alleged cache of deadly weaponry. It was kind of out of left field, this talk of freeing the Iraqi people. I wondered at the time if they knew very well that WMD wasn't there. I think they did know. And they already were changing the message in mid-stream.

Ultimately, I think THAT shows even more wretchedness on their part. They invaded IN SPITE OF a lack of WMD. Sick!


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