Sunday, July 23, 2006

"I have no interest in diplomacy for the sake of returning Lebanon and Israel to the status quo ante E Whatever we do, we have to be certain that we are pushing forward to the new Middle East, not going back to the old one." - Condoleezza Rice's latest soundbite.(One source here)

What in the name of the Sam Hill Peckett....? "New" middle east?

Don't tell me the neoconservative vision of transforming the Middle East into democracy through military action ("draining the swamp" as Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld have so diplomatically put it) still has currency in the Bush Administration? From this remark I can only conclude that the US wants the Israel push against Hezbollah to continue for the foreseeable future.

Yep, same old, same old: unilaterally declare that one country has the right and duty to enforce a UN resolution (Israel enforcing UN Resolution 1559 through military action in Lebanese territory whether the democratically-elected Lebanese government likes it or not in this case) any way it sees fit. I'm no fan of the UN Security Council - it's basically designed to be unable to respond to a situation like this where one side of the dispute isn't a nation-state - but I really don't see how giving Israel free rein advances peace and human rights. It seems more likely to topple the current Lebanese government and result in an even more Islamist-aligned one to me, either through a coup or a democratic vote.

That lack of consideration that extremists can get elected in a democracy is one of the fundamental problems I've had with neoconservative philosophy - the governmental system that keeps the First World from fighting amongst itself isn't "democracy" as they claim, but "liberal democracy". By leaving the "liberal" off, there is no conception of "illiberal democracy", a government system in which a dominant majority can (and often does) oppress a hated minority via the voting process. It's liberalim, not democracy, that promotes the concept of granting the same rights to others as you ask for yourself. Honestly, I've had discussions with people who seem about as able to conceive of the concept of "illiberal democracy" as one could conceive of the concept of a "square circle".

Besides which, you'd think that they'd have paused when the very terrorist organisations that "democracy" was supposed to supplant started getting elected to power by popular vote. But no, apparently the definitely-not-a-civil-war-because-they're-not-wearing-uniforms that's happening in Iraq, and that's causing as much death and carnage as a civil war does, and is being fought for the same reasons as a civil war is, along with Hamas getting elected to power in Palestine, along with this latest flare-up, is all just a few eggs getting broken to make the omelette of Everlasting Peace. The ends justifies the means, apparently: a philosophical tenet which I think is the cause of good people being led to embrace evil whenever they accept it as true.

Not happy.

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