Saturday, December 18, 2004

"A Simple Little American"

In response to my post on the Little American, Steven from Chronicles has written (full comment is here):

We [the U.S.] have a mélange of interests [in the Middle East], one of which is democracy promotion. This is elementary and not surprising. When this is admitted, however, the picture gets more complicated then you are David want to admit. Sometimes, for example David talks as if foreign policy were simply an exercise of charity.

Steven is correct to some extent regarding my recent posts on this subject. I am taking a rather simple and idealistic stand. That does not mean I think that the War on Islamic Fascism or attempts at democratization or reform in the Middle East will be simple. My point is too cut through what seems to have become nothing more than a cacophony of criticism for the sake of criticism (this is a general point and not directed at Steven), return to a core set of values, and develop a viable plan of action that retains those core values. Obviously, we agree, I think, that democracy and freedom are core values, we may share other core values as well. And we may or may not share the same ideas on how to achieve those values. But I am digressing.

One of my problems with the many discussions about Iraq, especially during the presidential campaigns, is they were primarily focused on re-debating whether we should have gone into Iraq or not, but not really discussing what to do on the ground right now, which to some extent is “an exercise in charity” -- meaning that we now need to be engaged in nation building, which includes everything from establishing security to building schools. All of the criticism, rehashing, and snipping are doing little to help the Iraqi people. Not that there isn’t plenty of discussion that is necessary.

But for now I think I will put my money where my fingers are and simply click over and donate some money to the Iraq Democracy Project and Library Books For Iraqi Children. And save the complexities for another day.


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