Thursday, November 02, 2006

Democracy vs. Engagement!

Amarji - A Heretic's Blog: Democracy vs. Engagement!: "In the aftermath of 9/11, democracy became a catch-word that was repeatedly enunciated by various American officials and commentators, from the President down, and brandished as some kind of magic weapon that can help make the differenced in the Global War on Terror. In the process though, Democracy was reduced to a single aspect of it, namely elections that, more often than not, produced undesirable results by empowering inherently non-democratic actors thus complicating the Administration’s push for greater political openness and reforms in the region.

This much has already been established, and criticizing the Bush Administration on these points is understandable, legitimate and necessary, especially considering the fact that we have still two more years to go in which much can still transpire, both positive, if new more nuanced approaches are adopted, or negative, if current tactics continue to be deployed unrevised.

But criticisms in this regard, however justified, will remain hollow and unproductive, if no clear and realistic alternate policy approaches are put on the table. To simply introduce a new catch-word on the scene, namely: Engagement, might make for some good sound-bites, and might indeed work within the context of the American electoral processes, and perhaps, Israeli ones, still, this is quite insufficient to help tackle the serious and critical problems involved in GWOT.

Indeed, engagement, with its current reduction to pure pragmatic containment, will likely prove even more naive and disastrous than the democracy approach of the last 5 years, to the extant that muddling through using the current policies of the Bush Administration might make more sense."

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Ammar: "While the Democracy Faith seems to have been based on the assumption that authoritarianism and corruption in the Broader Middle East and North Africa Region seem to play a role in encouraging international terrorism, the Engagement Faith is premised on the assumption that authoritarian regimes are much more capable of cracking down on terrorists than democracies can."
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