July 29, 2005

An honorable goal?

from - Buck

Universal democracy?

Hell, we may wind up knowing how a sheep feels when two wolves decide what to have for supper.

Be careful what you asked for because you just might get it.

::

Posted by Buck at July 29, 2005 08:47 AM
Comments

Speaking as the UU member of the smijer & Buck blogging duo, I do agree with you that some form of universal Democracy is a very important goal to be worked toward.

I share Buck's apparent concerns that such an act could be used as the "ends" that justify the "means" of future aggressive warfare.

I'm not sure whether he read the article closely and observed that most of the ostensible means discussed were explicitly peaceful ones - and I'm not sure that his question was necessarily meant as a challenge. But, sometimes I'm not sure I know how to take him at all.

For the record, Buck has a certain amount of interest in UUism, but he doesn't practice as a UU. I don't think he has even visited one of our churches yet - he lives a fair distance from the one closest to him.

univar.jpg Posted by smijer on July 29, 2005 05:14 PM
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The "ends" and "means" always an interesting discussion.

My first reaction is the most powerful Nation the world has seen ought to wage this struggle aggessively with a swift sword. We're obligated because of our strength.

The genocide in Bosnia and Rwanda during the 90s were events that started me thinking like this.

I was appalled during the 2000 election with Bush's comments against Nation building and his jokes about himself. I voted for Gore largely because of that. In 2004 I voted for Bush because of his Foreign Policy and aggressively promoting Universal Democracy.

Some UU's find this odd, but I think in time, it will turn out to be the prevailing view. Just as people forget the America Firsters, and A. J. Muste from the 1930s, they will forget those opposed to Bush. I think there will be a New Fusion much as described here.

univar.jpg Posted by Bill Baar on July 29, 2005 05:30 PM
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If events in Iraq in 2003 had mirrored those in Rwanda and Kosovo in the 1990's then, I might have agreed with you (not necessarily... When human rights are completely ignored until such a time as invasion is discussed as the means, I'm not certain that such action can be considered good faith).

In a time of crisis, when all else has already failed, and when the people of a nation are being slaughtered by their own government or a foreign aggressor, I honestly don't think I would consider military intercession on their behalf to be aggressive war. I would probably consider it a defensive one - whether one is defending onesself, or defending innocent others who are victims of unprovoked aggression.

As members of the world community, we Americans do need a clear and consistent position on human rights and self-determination overseas. Consistent means giving the same weight to the same offenses whether they are done in Iraq under Saddam, Iraq under Rumsfeld and Talabani, or in Saudi Arabia, Uzbekhistan, or Nicarauga. A military alliance with Uzbekhistan coupled with a military invasion of Iraq is a mixed message, and we cannot expect foreign leaders to understand or react to it.

Lastly, I'm afraid that democratization was never the real goal of our Iraq invasion. There was no ultimatum to Saddam to "democratize or face the consequences." Our nation never even so much as asked Saddam to democratize, much less did we seriously pursue peaceful alternatives as means toward democratization. Perhaps, if other avenues were tried consistently and consistently failed, we could justify an aggression for the purpose of "liberation", but certainly not as a first choice option, and certainly with no better guarantees of success in exchange for all of the innocent blood shed than we had in this war.

univar.jpg Posted by smijer on July 29, 2005 06:20 PM
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I liked Clinton's speech of 1998 on Saddam,

Saddam Hussein's Iraq reminds us of what we learned in the 20th century and warns us of what we must know about the 21st. In this century, we learned through harsh experience that the only answer to aggression and illegal behavior is firmness, determination, and when necessary action.

In the next century, the community of nations may see more and more the very kind of threat Iraq poses now a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction ready to use them or provide them to terrorists, drug traffickers or organized criminals who travel the world among us unnoticed.

If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow by the knowledge that they can act with impunity, even in the face of a clear message from the United Nations Security Council and clear evidence of a weapons of mass destruction program.

But if we act as one, we can safeguard our interests and send a clear message to every would-be tyrant and terrorist that the international community does have the wisdom and the will and the way to protect peace and security in a new era. That is the future I ask you all to imagine. That is the future I ask our allies to imagine.

If we look at the past and imagine that future, we will act as one together. And we still have, God willing, a chance to find a diplomatic resolution to this, and if not, God willing, the chance to do the right thing for our children and grandchildren.

univar.jpg Posted by Bill Baar on July 29, 2005 07:35 PM
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Bill,

Have you ever asked yourself the question of just how much "democracy" actually exists in the country that is so hell-bent on spreading it across the world?

In this century, we learned through harsh experience that the only answer to aggression and illegal behavior is firmness, determination, and when necessary action.
It seems to me that what we really have learned is that the answer to aggression and illegal behavior is more aggression and illegal behavior.

In time it will become perfectly clear that the last thing in the world the United States government wants is global democracy. Had the world voted in the last election do you think Bush would be the President now?

When Clinton gave his speech in 1998 the Iraqi people were being starved to death and according to Madeleine Albright 500,000 dead Iraqi children was not too large a price to pay. Hussein was neutered even then. Hell, he was destroyed in 1991. He was just being used as a convenient boogey-man.

The United States has no interest in being a member of some world community any more than the Roman Empire wanted to be a member of the world community. The same Spirit drives both. Not community but hegemony.

I long for the day that when a nation sits down to determine its "strengths" the last place it looks is at its military.

univar.jpg Posted by Buck on August 1, 2005 10:36 AM
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You think the United States (and the American poeple) are the greatest problem in the world?

I don't agree.

Yes, a global democracy is what we should want. Let's start with the UN and hold a world election to replace Kofi Anan.

univar.jpg Posted by Bill Baar on October 1, 2005 11:10 AM
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