Over at the Seattle Times opinion blog (STop), there is this post. I was hoping to make it through this weekend without making any kind of politically-oriented post, but the post is so flabbergastingly bad I had to say something.
There are three major statements I want to rebut. The first is this:
It is asserted widely that terrorism is caused by a lack of democracy-in Palestine, for example.
No, this is not asserted. What is asserted is that extreme factions of Islam is a cause of terrorism. Lack of democracy may permit this kind of Islamo-facism to develop and thrive, but it is not the cause. The spread of democracy will only stop these barbarians from being officially sponsored by nation-states.
Democracy does not inoculate you against spawning terrorists-though one might reply that all of the terrorists he mentioned were marginal to the societies concerned, and that in Palestine, anyway, the terrorists are more than just marginal. Still, when one links terrorism directly to a lack of democracy-as the neoconservatives do-it puts terror into a perspective that is not accurate.
I have never read a single article from any “neocon” (what the heck is that exactly?) saying democracy is a sure fire way to “inoculate” us from terrorism. Anybody who does make that claim doesn’t have a full grasp on the situation.
The neocons also like to say that America is targeted because the terrorists hate democracy. But Fahmy says, “Why do the terrorists target you, rather than Italy or Great Britain?”
This is so sad. Apparently this guy doesn’t keep up on the news or somehow the Egyptian ambassador cast a spell of forgetfulness on him. Let’s see, what other democracies have had to deal with terrorism? Well, Great Britain (stopped a terrorist plot), France (receiving threats), and Spain (Madrid bombings) all have had to deal with terrorism lately. The point is America isn’t the only democracy being attacked. Though I would agree we aren’t being attacked because we’re in a democratic republic, I really don’t think the terrorists give a damn about the nuances of our various governmental structures. What I do think the terrorists give a damn about is that we’re infidels. They hate us because we aren’t like them.
In short, Mr. Ramsey has a nice little straw man set up. No thoughtful, realistic “neocon” thinks democracy is the Silver Bullet in the War on Terror.