Friday, June 08, 2007

Messianic Democracy and its Failures

When GW Bush was elected to office the first time in 2000 the world was different. By the time he was reelected in 2004, the international situation had become more dangerous for Americans. The great irony of the 21st century will be that the American people voted for Bush the second time to protect themselves from perilous situations that Bush created or abetted. It was the same situation, albeit localized, in post Katrina New Orleans when the voters reelected Major Nagin, who had recklessly presided over the destruction of the city during the storm, naively expecting him to organize the complicated reconstruction. Like GW Bush, Nagin's failure to vitalize New Orleans proves old incompetence is a hard habit to break.

The 9/11 strike against the US was an enhanced replay of a fizzled previous Jihadist attack on the Twin Towers. There is plenty of data to support that our nation was caught flatfooted – that more alertness may have precluded the disaster. There was plenty of blame to share by all – military negligence, intelligence community, internal security and flaccid policy reactions by team Bush. Even the former Clinton administration feared its implication in the deadly events; so it sent Sandy Berger to the National Archives Building to stuff his underwear with incriminating documents. Fumbler that Berger is, he got caught and was convicted.

Internally Bush responded to 9/11 by bureaucratically creating a Department of Homeland Defense; up until today it has failed to protect our borders and ports from infiltration. It also failed miserably in Katrina. Bush further introduced new internal security arrangements that many decry as an invasion of personal freedoms. He also reinterpreted the Geneva Convention, broadened wire intercepts and involved the US in torture. Proponents of these measures argue they have protected the US from another terrorist attack. To date most of the so called planned attacks were keystone cop operations or fantasy. Some may be actual; the oncoming trials should tell the truth... As long as the Jihadist do not attack US soil, the American people seem to accept these changes and restrictions. But the moment they fail to stop an attack, expect a violent change of heart. Bush's big problem remains the insecurity of the borders which beckon to saboteurs.

Apart from his dangerous open borders, Bush now is preparing for the initial admission of 27,000 Iraqi displaced refugees into the US. Name one Western country where sizable Islamic minorities have not caused internal security problems or serious tensions. Bush is being pressured by Arab states near Iraq to take refugees from the war he started and now have poured by the millions into their adjacent countries.

Whereas Bush constricts democracy internally at home, he has a foreign policy that is externally based on promoting democracy abroad. This fixation to stick the world with the American democracy had its birth in the Bush administration with the serial failures in Iraq. Once the lack of WMD and links with al Qaeda, as well as the capture of Saddam undercut the continuation of the war, Bush tried to peddle the Democracy by the Sword concept in Iraq. The Neocon Elliot Abrams introduced GW Bush to Natan Sharansky, a former convicted Soviet Refusenik who Ronald Reagan traded for captured Soviet spies. Sharansky went to Israel, became part of the government and there became a heroic Zionist exponent for the Soviet Jewry. He clashed with Sharon and was politically sidelined in Israel. He wrote a turgid book, a non seller, called The Cause for Democracy: The Power of Freedom Overcome. About ten years after publication, Bush and Condoleezza officially promoted the book with the same zeal as the Chinese promoted Mao's little red book. Bush awarded Sharansky the Congressional Medal of Freedom; Sharansky toured the US on speaking engagements, even had a cream pie thrown in his face at an Eastern university. Have not heard a peep from him lately. His work became the theoretic underpinning of the Bush proliferation of democracy policy.

A tenet of the Sharansky doctrine is democratic countries do not make war on each other – before you believe this, better check this out with Palestine, Israel, the Lebanese, Chavez, and the so called Iraqi government. Further main US allies in the Middle East and Pakistan are not democracies and not hectored by Bush. Nor is Red China a democratic country. This messianic fervor for democracy has caused serious problems, especially between Russia and the US. The last time Bush was in Russia he publicly lectured Putin on democracy in Russia. Putin retorted: You mean like you have in Iraq? Bush relations with Russia are going from bad to worse. It started with the US abrogation of the ABM treaty followed by the neocons taking the Chechen side in the Russia/Chechen conflict. It developed further with the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe and US basing in Central Asia. This was followed by US interference in Ukrainian and Belarus internal affairs. Now Russia is to respond militarily to the proposed US placement of anti missile installations in Eastern Europe; so the coming Bush vs. the KGB Putin meetings are sure to be tense.

Remember those halcyon days at Bush's Crawford Ranch when Bush looked into Putin's rock hard KGB soul and absurdly saw a Christian brother who carried a cross from his mother. Well, Bush is going to have a meeting at daddy Bush's spread in Maine with Putin in July to recapture the president's old delusion. Meanwhile, Putin has struck out on his own. He is a big military partner of Red China, selling weapons and holding joint military exercises. Putin has reasserted Russian hegemony in Belarus and the Ukraine. He has announced a major military buildup fueled by high domestic oil profits, forced the US out of some bases in Central Asia and locked up energy deals with Central Asian republics that insure their integration into Moscow's energy networks. This will force the Europeans to deal directly with Moscow. Putin also holds the trump card on whether Kosovo remains Serbian or becomes the Republic of Kosovo.

You cannot help to wonder how the Bush administration seems to corrupt its foreign relations in world. Many of the problems stem from the brutal senseless war in Iraq and blind support of Israel. This is certainly the case with Iran and Syria. With Russia it was another issue that damaged relations. Oligarchs in Russia bought the oil and mineral resources in Russia from a drunk named Yeltsin – the oligarchs legally bought them for a nickel on dollar in terms of value. Yeltsin was paid in cash that came mainly from Jewish owned consortiums in Europe. Putin by hook and crook took these enterprises away from the oligarchs. He even jailed some of them. Though it was not a US affair, US neocons were outraged by this and decided to make Russia pay and have been at the root of focused democracy flack aimed at Russia. Was this Refusenik Sharansky's revenge carried out by US neocons? Bush was foolish enough to be party to it. Putin has over a 70% approval rate in Russia. That is certainly much higher than Bush in the US. We are at the edge of COLD WAR II. This is without question a US diplomatic failure of massive proportions. Given the problems with Jihadists, the US does not need Russia as an enemy. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA RET
* Photograph: Etching Si Sabrá más el discípulo? by Francisco de Goya


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog along while eating my Frosted Flakes helps me to put the world in perspective. It's better than the NY Times Week In Review. This administration will soon pass into history.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good writing as always. Have the presidential choices always been this ridiculous.

Where are the real leaders?

Also you should put a or link at the bottom of your post, so more people can find your articles.


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