Last February, when I first started to blog, I warned that Democracy Isn’t Enough
. For democracy to function properly there must be an appropriate cultural foundation. I argued that most radical attempts to transform a society into a liberal order fail
on the first try. While I considered the January election something to cheer
about, I realized no matter how honorable our actions were we, nevertheless, are engaged in a bold experiment of cultural transformation. The key obstacle is Islam.
A recent article on TCS describes the challenge
of introducing democracy in an unrepentant
Islamic culture. The author discusses the examples of Egypt and Algeria. Iraq may or may not be as bad; but only time will tell. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t valid strategic reasons to be in Iraq. However, an all-or-nothing goal of liberal democracy is over ambitious and over generous. Our quick fix will get them going, if all goes well, but in the long run Islam and Arab culture will be a quicksand if Islam is left unchallenged. Let hope they take advantage of our generosity.
Rancher is optimistic as is Tom Palmer who recently visited Iraq (see his answer to my question at the end.) However, Mark Alexander reminds us of the problem.