Is this what the Bush Administration envisioned when they started spreading freedom all over the place? So far, we've had Egypt vote in a radical Muslim government. Iran followed suit and boy that's turning out great. Throw in Syria and Iraq, and now Palestine and the last five elections held in the Middle East have pushed each country farther from the United States, idealogically.
It was interesting to see President Bush extoll the virtues of democracy in one breath, and then refuse to deal with the results in the other. What are we hoping to gain? I hope that these results are symptomatic of a diseased region trying to break the fever of oppression, but I'm not too optimistic. How long will the votes be fair? Do the people voting want "democracy"?
And in Iraq, where the most it at stake, the recent election seems to have poised the region at the precipice of dramatic change.
Listening to the Iraqi Ambassador to the United States the other day placed renewed importance on the outcome of the new government in Iraq. He discussed a worst-case vision that was very dark indeed. With the withdrawal of American troops a power vacuum would ensue with government faction-backed militias attempting to strengthen their hold. The Shia's in the south would get additional Iranian support. The Kurds from the north, the support of the Turkish Kurdish population while the Turks would oppose that. The Saudi's, not necessarily the government, but the citizenry, would throw in the with the Sunni's in Iraq creating a terror-state and the civil war would become a regional war. The region being the one fueling the world's economy. This is a worse-case scenario of course, but one that could easily evolve.
Of course, everybody could decide to just get along, and this administration's foray into nation-building and developing regional stability would be a huge success.
So far, the spreading of democracy and freedom has stretched our armed forces to the breaking point, divided our country, distracted us from fighting terror and pushed our deficit to record highs. I see what you are trying to do Georgie, but you need to take a deep breath, focus on some real, long-term solutions, and not be so intent on creating your legacy. Legacies tend to take care of themselves.