June 17, 2007

Gaza matters

I just read this Newsweek article regarding the recent events in the Gaza strip. As you all know, I'm not given to discussing politics or current events on this blog. But I found the article intriguing. Particularly the following:

By insisting on cure-all elections in countries and territories that had no institutions of justice and security, or a politically aware economic middle class, to sustain democracy, the Bush team clearly seems to have overreached.

This is something I have been thinking about for awhile. Especially after seeing the Ted Koppel special on Discovery Channel a few months ago. He poignantly pointed out that regardless of the outcome of things in Iraq, this global "war on terror" is likely to wage on for generations to come. Yet he also shone light on some encouraging work the military is doing in various parts of the world.

Preventing terrorism.

Delivering clean water and food and health care and education to communities that otherwise would have none of these things. These are areas of the world where America is still loved. They are cities and villages where terrorists will have little success breeding recruits. It seems to me that this is the kind of preparation and infrastructure that has to be in place before we can ever hope to "wage" democracy.

I feel kinda vulnerable just now, attempting to weigh in on the political realm. But go ahead, have at me.

5 comments:

Nobrainer said...

I think that main problem is that the governments and/or local warlords of these areas actively disrupt such activities.

The Expert said...

By insisting on cure-all elections in countries and territories that had no institutions of justice and security, or a politically aware economic middle class, to sustain democracy, the Bush team clearly seems to have overreached.

I want to know what decent governmental alternative there is besides democracy. We needed to remove a despotic leader. done, now what? let the region descend into anarchy? move out and let islamo fascists / Iran take over? replace one despot with another of our choosing? a slightly nicer dictator perhaps?

the newsweek person is completely dismissing the amazing results that have come from the Iraqi governmental project. Look at their voter turnout. I believe it was in the 70-80% range. Now add to that that they've been threatened with death for even participating in the government. Much less running for office.

Our voter turnout looks pathetic in comparison.

Dr. Church said...

I believe you're missing the point. The point is not give up on democracy. The point is, what type of effort will best ensure its survival? Regardless of how high Iraqi voter turnout was, what exactly has been accomplished? The country is still coming apart with civil war. The point is that the work covered on the Discovery Channel special seems far better suited to sustain democracy.

Hal said...

I wish it were that simple. Nothing ever is.

Despite the incredible efforts of America abroad in aid (both private and governmental) should make us beloved. And yet, many of the people who accept our aid turn around and chant for our death. Why does this happen?

I don't have an answer, exactly. But one of the thoughts on things such as this, as they unfold in Iraq, is that we ought to allow for (or provide) a religious outlet that fights against violence, etc. Many of the people who are drawn into the fighting these days aren't poor people backed against the wall . . . they're middle or upperclass people who've been convinced that the only legitimate expression of their religion involves killing infidels.

Aid really is important. So is military action. But the battle of ideas is important too, and I don't think we put nearly enough effort into that amongst the others.

Rachel said...

I have heard that the war, although my opinions on it are totally confused and conflicted, has opened up parts of the Middle East to missionaries of Christianity, where before very few could get in. I think this fact is more eternal than whether or not Democracy is sustained.