Friday, February 04, 2005
I was thinking more about that post by Kos below, and really voting alone guarantees you very little. There is the mention in that post of Colombia. They have elections, all the time. But a big chunk of that country is under rebel control and in the rest of it, there are right-wing militias all over. Now someone might want to point out that things in Iraq are being "helped" by the Americans. But that perspective ignores the fact that the US has long had an "interest" in Colombia because of the war on drugs. And was America not a functioning democracy when it committed itself to the fratricidal madness of civil war? Elections didn't stop the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland for a quarter of a century. If want the extreme example, let's not forget that Hitler enjoyed certain success through democratic means too. With the creation of the Weimar republic after Kaiser Wilhelm II's abdication, many held the impression that Germany would be all light and sunshine. Those that consider the recent elections to be the beginning of the end of trouble in Iraq do so only by ignoring history. Is democracy better than just about any other human form of government? History suggests the answer is yes. Is it completely foolproof or easy to build? No. Is it possible to backslide into authoritarianism? Look at Putin's Russia. There are no guarantees, at this stage, that the war can be called a success. Perhaps the only way to see it as such is to compare to everything else in Iraq which has been an abysmal failure.