A war for democracy?
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Mar 14 07:20:30 MST 2003
LA Times, March 14, 2003
Democracy Domino Theory 'Not Credible'
A State Department report disputes Bush's claim that ousting Hussein
will spur reforms in the Mideast, intelligence officials say.
By Greg Miller, Times Staff Writer
WASHINGTON -- A classified State Department report expresses doubt that
installing a new regime in Iraq will foster the spread of democracy in
the Middle East, a claim President Bush has made in trying to build
support for a war, according to intelligence officials familiar with the
The report exposes significant divisions within the Bush administration
over the so-called democratic domino theory, one of the arguments that
underpins the case for invading Iraq.
The report, which has been distributed to a small group of top
government officials but not publicly disclosed, says that daunting
economic and social problems are likely to undermine basic stability in
the region for years, let alone prospects for democratic reform.
Even if some version of democracy took root — an event the report casts
as unlikely — anti-American sentiment is so pervasive that elections in
the short term could lead to the rise of Islamic-controlled governments
hostile to the United States.
"Liberal democracy would be difficult to achieve," says one passage of
the report, according to an intelligence official who agreed to read
portions of it to The Times.
"Electoral democracy, were it to emerge, could well be subject to
exploitation by anti-American elements."
The thrust of the document, the source said, "is that this idea that
you're going to transform the Middle East and fundamentally alter its
trajectory is not credible."
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