NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Blind hate hides the truth from writer

Larry Shumaker wonders where "Where's the truth"? Not much in his letter, August 1, 2005
Some have recently stated that the Bush administration is not the most corrupt in the history of the U.S. How ironic!

If not, then exactly where does it rank in the scummy, sleaze ratings?
Well perhaps Mr. Shumaker will consider this ranking by Muslims in the world.
The public opinion poll was conducted by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, hardly a bastion of neocon zealotry. (It's co-chaired by Madeleine Albright.) Over the last three years, Pew surveys have charted surging anti-Americanism in response to the invasion of Iraq and other actions of the Bush administration. But its most recent poll — conducted in May, with 17,000 respondents in 17 countries — also found evidence that widespread antipathy is abating.

The percentage of people holding a favorable impression of the United States increased in Indonesia (+23 points), Lebanon (+15), Pakistan (+2) and Jordan (+16). It also went up in such non-Muslim nations as France, Germany, Russia and India.
What accounts for this shift? The answer varies by country, but analysts point to waning public anger over the invasion of Iraq, gratitude for the massive U.S. tsunami relief effort and growing conviction that the U.S. is serious about promoting democracy.

There is also increasing aversion to America's enemies, even in the Islamic world. The Pew poll found that "nearly three-quarters of Moroccans and roughly half of those in Pakistan, Turkey and Indonesia see Islamic extremism as a threat to their countries." . . . Muslim opinion also challenges jihadist orthodoxy that proclaims that giving power to the people, rather than to mullahs, is "un-Islamic." The latest Pew poll found "large and growing majorities in Morocco (83%), Lebanon (83%), Jordan (80%) and Indonesia (77%) — as well as pluralities in Turkey (48%) and Pakistan (43%) — [that] say democracy can work well and is not just for the West."

That's exactly what President Bush has been saying. Though his actions and rhetoric have been denounced as "unrealistic" and "extremist" by his American and European critics, it turns out that Muslims welcome it.

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Blogger steve frisch said...

I think that the Pew results are interesting but fail to really get to the core of the question.

There is no doubt, and has been no doubt from past polling and watchers of Islamic culture, that many Muslim countries prefer democracy. Many of those referenced by Pew in Russ' post are already democracies, so they are really expressing their support for thier current societal system, not a change.

There is also no doubt that the United States should be promoting democracy around the world. That has been the established foreign policy of democratic and republican administrations since the end of WWII.

The question is to what lengths should the United States go to promote democracy?

Clearly people agree on supporting and promoting democracy through trade, economic support, diplomatic recognition and inclusion, transfers of technology and knowledge, orderly legal frameworks for intellectual property, access to World Bank loans and a dozen other non-military mechanisms.

At what point does the United States decide that it is going to use military force to promote democracy? And is that a rationale for the use of American military force? Should we be using the military for national defense and economic and diplomatic means to achieve others ends?

Mon Aug 01, 07:28:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Russ Steele said...

Steve: I am a big advocate of the Pentagon's New Map and it's author Thomas Barnett. One of his insightful comments on why we took down Saddam.

". . . letting Iraq go the route of Lebanon in the 70s and 80s is just putting the country on ice in terms of political development, while the killing goes on and troublemakers the world over benefit from the ensuing loose security rule set that defines the country for the length of the sectarian violence.

You can say: we don't take down Saddam, we don't have to deal with this. But frankly, that's a cop-out. There will always be these places to deal with inside the Gap until we shrink the Gap. Saddam's many sins just gave us the excuse to actually take a job on, rather than just come up with the usual excuses like we do with North Korea, Sudan or Zimbabwe. These situations will not go away from criminal neglect on our part.

Go here to understand the Core and the Gap:

Mon Aug 01, 05:33:00 PM PDT  

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