Democracy Wrapup

DEMOCRACY WRAPUP….Many thanks to Dan Drezner and Marc (Abu Aardvark) Lynch for the guest blogging this week. I hope everyone enjoys occasional multiparty conversations here on the blog, since I plan to experiment with more of it in the future. Constructive comments on how you liked or didn’t like it are welcome.

I forgot to do this last time I invited some guests, but here’s a wrapup of the entire series of posts:

  1. Kevin: Liberals shouldn’t be afraid to be idealistic about liberty and democracy.

  2. Dan: Bush deserves credit for staying the course on democracy promotion.

  3. Marc: Does he? The war affected the chances of democracy, but other things mattered more.

  4. Kevin: Maybe we’ll end up with democracy in Iraq, maybe we won’t, but it sure wasn’t the original plan.

  5. Marc: Bush talks the democracy talk, but he doesn’t walk the democracy walk.

  6. Dan: Joe Biden thinks NGOs are great, but guess what? They can create problems as well as solve them.

  7. Marc: Yep, NGOs are no panacea.

  8. Kevin: Look guys, let’s get down to cases: did the war help spread democracy or didn’t it?

  9. Marc: No, it didn’t. It probably hurt more than it helped.

  10. Dan: Yes it did. Having al-Jazeera broadcast the sight of Iraqis braving car bombs to vote was a powerful signal to the whole region.

  11. Kevin: (Just an aside: Trade unions could have helped the democratic process along if Bush had been willing to work with them.)

  12. Marc: Dan is wrong: there were plenty of other options besides war for promoting democracy in the Middle East.

  13. Kevin: You know, maybe the war caused the recent oubreaks of democracy, maybe it didn’t. But it is affecting the way they evolve. Is anyone thinking hard about that?

  14. Marc: What do we do if radical anti-American Islamists win free and fair elections?

  15. Dan: If the radicals win, let ’em give governing a try. Things will probably turn out OK.