The word “Democracy” has become increasingly and deceptively powerful. It has come to be seen as something on par with “freedom” and “justice.” It has been the fuel for the very inaptly named ‘Arab Spring.’ Democracy and freedom are not synonymous terms. They don’t mean the same thing at all. The forces at work that support the ‘Arab Spring’ know this but they don’t want the world to know it. After all, war is deception.
The now infamous ‘Bush Doctrine’ evolved from a policy that gave the United States the right to preemptively defend itself to something that sought the promotion of Democracy all across the Middle East. This policy of Democracy was applied to Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Gaza Strip. The result has been far less than spectacular. Afghanistan has written a Constitution that identifies Islamic law as the law of the land. Ditto Iraq, which has also, essentially, become annexed by Iran. Gaza, after being handed over to the Palestinians, democratically elected Hamas to lead it.
Democracy birthed religious tyranny. Does that sound like a formula for freedom and justice?
Since George W. Bush left office, the Middle East has eagerly co-opted and embraced his doctrine, implementing it on its own terms. In Egypt, the country overwhelmingly elected the Muslim Brotherhood to have more seats in Parliament than any other Party and will soon decide if the country will have a Muslim Brotherhood President or one who was Prime Minister under Hosni Mubarak. The “Democratic” uprising that took place in Egypt will give them more of the same or something much worse. Perhaps this offers some insight into why Bush recently doubled down on his doctrine in a Wall Street Journal Op-ed, in which he wrote positively about the ‘Arab Spring’ while encouraging people to ‘embrace freedom’ in the Middle East.
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has laughably identified its political arm as the Freedom and Justice Party. Like the ‘Arab Spring,’ the term does not in any way, shape, matter or form accurately identify the Party. On the contrary, ‘Freedom and Justice’ is antithetical to what the Brotherhood stands for, especially for those who are not Muslim.
In Democracy, the majority rules but what if the majority wishes to subjugate or persecute the minority? It’s still Democracy but is that freedom and justice for all built on a foundational belief that all men are created equal? Hardly. Conversely, what if a minority is in power that seeks to control the majority, in part, to prevent its own subjugation or persecution? This was the case in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and it is the case in Bashar al-Assad’s Syria.
When Kurds in the Qamishli Province rose up against Assad and the Arabist Ba’ath in the spring of 2004 and were slaughtered, Syrian Arabs of all stripes remained quiet. What about the Libyan Berbers, black African Sudanese and the Kurds in Turkey and Iraq? Hundreds of thousands have been massacred. As Gadhafi was fending off rebels in Libya, US Senator John McCain walked past the main courthouse in Benghazi to cheers from Libyan rebels. Two weeks earlier, rebels had hung a black man upside down and beheaded him at that very site. It was during this visit that McCain referred to those rebels as his ‘heroes,’ presumably because they were clamoring for Democracy.
Apparently, it’s easier to get away with beheading black Libyans if you do so in the name of Democracy. Since then, there has been an overwhelming abundance of Al-Qaeda flags flying all over post-Gadhafi Libya.
Let freedom ring, right Mr. McCain? Does calling it ‘Democracy’ help you sleep better?
And there is this...