February 8, 2005


No Returns (RICHARD A. CLARKE, 2/06/05, NY Times Magazine)

Last month, the self-appointed head of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, railed against ''this evil principle of democracy'' and said he would send his fighters to kill people who tried to vote. Days before, in Washington, President Bush delivered an inaugural address focused almost exclusively on promoting democracy, which he portrayed as an antidote for ''our vulnerability.'' His theory was that ''resentment and tyranny'' simmer in undemocratic nations, breeding violent ideologies that will ''cross the most defended borders'' to pose a ''mortal threat.''

Given these statements by Zarqawi and Bush, Americans might well conclude that Al Qaeda's primary aim is preventing democracy. Following the president's theory, they might assume terrorism cannot grow in democracies and that the best way to deal with it is to create more democracies. Unfortunately, both beliefs may be mistaken.

No wonder no one listened to this guy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 8, 2005 9:04 PM
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