A war for democracy?

Louis Proyect 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 
document.

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."

full: http://www.latimes.com/
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