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This entire policy has been predicated on a flawed premise - that Democracy would lead to pro Western governments. That was the paradigm in cold war Eastern Europe, but anyone who imagines it is going to be a paradigm in the ME is in for a serious disappointment. Be careful what you wish for, when you're busting open Pandora's Box.

I disagree with both your representation of the premise and your conclusion.

The operative theory holds that states with representative governments tend not to attack one another. This theory has some basis in history, and traces its intellectual roots to Kant:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_peace_theory

A corollary to this theory is that representative governments provide a productive outlet for political expression and preference - a market for dissent, if you will.

In the absence of representative governments, dissent often festers beneath a surface of tyrannical suppression. The consequence of that suppression is impossible to foresee, but in the Middle East, it appears to manifest in a political market for demagogic militant religiosity.

The resulting hierarchical manifestation of Allah-Imam-Devout finds its natural enemy in the secular infidel... namely, us.

Secularism is the cornerstone of representative democracies in the West: there may be symbolic vestiges of monarchy (e.g., the Queen's periodic address to the British Parliament), but that strict hierarchical system of God-King-Subjects that existed in Europe for centuries, was eventually supplanted by variations on egalitarianism (i.e., equal rights before the Law).

A precondition for equality before the law is the social denial that any individual (e.g., the King) or group (e.g., Bishops, nobels, Catholics/Protestants) enjoy some God-derived sociopolitical privilege. This took a long bloody time to figure out in Europe. I suspect it will take a shorter though equally bloody time to figure out in the Middle East. Until such time, and so long as we retain secularism, we will remain the natural enemy.

With regard to your conclusion, two things.

First, I believe that democratic peace proponents would concede that even in a world composed only of representative democracies, competition for resources may still result in natural allies & war. Ergo, representative democracies in the Middle East may not lead to "pro-Westernism," and I don't think that's been the claim; but I'd consider any proof to the contrary.

Second, failure in Iraq would hardly "disprove" the theory, because social science does not and cannot rely on naive falsificationism.

I, for one, find it difficult to fault the radical idealism of the neoconservative desire to bust open the region's repressive Pandora's Box with the crowbar of Freedom: it's a pity for all involved that neoconservative competence and foresight appear unable to keep pace with those loftier ideals.

None of this is to challenge your view that the Iraq thing is utterly and regrettably FUBAR at this juncture,

Jimi
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