Saturday, February 19, 2005


I like Greek words; I wish I knew more of them. “Hubris” seems to be the Greek word of the day. What’s odd is the left is using it. After a century of utopian schemes that have left 100 million dead and confined over a billion to subjugation, they are still unrepentant. What intellectual right do they have to make charges of “hubris?”

It is even stranger when you read their interpretation of America’s influence in the world. According to the left’s narrative, the world would be full of blooming democracies – in the socialist sense, of course – if it weren’t for the fact that America, using a handful of covert CIA operatives, installed dictatorships all around the world. Wait a minute! It’s hubris to think that 150,000-200,000 men and women can bring liberal democracy to Iraq but we’ve derailed potential democracies and installed the regime of our choice all around the world with a few covert operatives?

And you thought the left was engaged in honest criticism!

However, cultural change is normally a slow process and those that result in liberty are the exceptions. Abrupt change – revolution, for example – seldom achieves its goal the first time. England had its Oliver Cromwell before the Glorious Revolution of John Locke’s time. The hopeful atmosphere of the early days of the French Assembly was replaced by the Reign of Terror and Napoleon before France got back on track. The democratic Kerensky revolution was replaced by the Bolshevik communist putsch. The Weimar democracy, in the aftermath of a war to “make the world safe for democracy” ended with the election of Hitler. No, most first attempts at liberal democracy don’t pan out.

Thus, we are attempting a bold and radical change – one which is a long shot. At this point we must hope that it is one of the exceptions. If not, it may have merely bought us time while we return to the drawing board. It is clear, however, that the generosity of the American people is praiseworthy and the mission is honorable. In light of the vicious attacks of the left, it is difficult to debate the fine points of an otherwise respectable course of action. Of course, the left wants nothing more than to demoralize and paralyze our national discourse. So far they are very effective.