The Danger of Assigning a Democratic Label Without a History

Demos means of,by,or upon the people.Among the Greek city states only Athens seems to have qualified for less than 200 years.The United States has officially supported the overthrow of “democratically”elected radical governments in the past and “democratically”elected Islamic governments in a more recent past.Our official stand in the current coup attempt in Turkey is to support a democratically elected government.The problem is that the current Turkish President is an Islamist ruthlessly moving toward the suppression of western ways and the infusion of Shaaria law.The support of the people is not so much for him as it is for a Turkish nationalism which is both hopeful and primitive.Secularism and the preservation of “democracy” were entrusted to the military by no less a figure than Attaturk,the founder of the modern Turkish state, for good reason.
There is no good outcome possible.The idea of a coup is repugnant and the leaders seem focusedly anti Kurdish.But the president is equally anti Kurdish,only nominally pro Israel,and murderously predisposed to disposing of his enemies.There is no Isis involvement visible here,no lone wolf assassin expressing his hatred in the name thereof.What seems clear is another consequence of the destabilization of the entire region through the elimination of Saddam

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9 Comments

  1. Daedal2207, Such a pleasure to read material with which I have complete agreement! That is, until the last sentence about Saddam being a keystone of desirable stability. As a student at UCLA in 1961 I attended a week long seminar covering specifically the lack of stability in the Near East. Religious belief was in conflict with other religious beliefs as well as with clashing western secular values. They still are. Having tamed Iraq, the west MIGHT have been able to assert the disciplines needed to buy the time needed, but Obama saw it differently. A cancer has been allowed to spread to all parts of the world.

    1. DS: “… Saddam being a keystone of desirable stability”

      Keystone? That word was not in daedal2207’s statement. While daedal2207 can speak for himself, one must reject a general acceptance of that interpretation. Now that we possess the benefit of hindsight, it’s even easier to conclude that we should have let be the (“secular”) devil we knew over the hell that has been unleashed. Since we’re so concerned about despotic rule, who had a worse record leading up to and hence 9/11 whom we have “shielded” and embraced (there’s a famous picture of W. greeting the ruling family)? Does the newly declassified 28-page report shed light confirming our suspicions? http://www.pbs.org/video/2365704222/. Might be too long to hold someone’s attention … but, worthwhile and revealing in our tolerance selectiveness.

      DS: “Having tamed Iraq …”

      Now, there’s hubris for the reader!

      DS: “… the west MIGHT have been able to assert the disciplines needed to buy the time needed.”

      Using the word “might” is a brilliant denial qualifier on your part. As Rose said in “Gypsy” … “shoulda, coulda!”

      DS: “Obama saw it differently.”

      Differently than W. and his cadre’s vision (vision, what vision?)? We all certainly hope so for the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing while expecting different results! Unless any one of all opining contributors has been a fly on the Situation Room wall, to assert knowledge is … a bit much (leaving it at that).

      DS: “A cancer has been allowed to spread to all parts of the world.”

      This to be sure. But, in your alleging (and am aware that I’m putting obvious words in your mouth) that President Obama is the cause seems to indicate that your 1961 UCLA class did not particularly enlighten its students. Oversimplifying global conditions by blindly refusing to see the rapid seismic shifts in societies will not develop solutions … and will further enrage. Very painful and sad.

      1. The “Frontline” piece on Saudi Arabia (provided by SusannaB) provides powerful evidence as to why we must be wary of allowing any government to assume the self-righteous nature of any one religion – or as important – any secular form of belief that is as self-righteous as any one religion (think leftism). A limited central government with divided powers was our founder’s cure for the disease so painfully depicted in this documentary by PBS.
        Stratfor’s CEO, George Friedman is of the opinion that we could have held Iraq (for the stability reasons mentioned), but it would have taken more time, more troops, and more money, than the public would have allowed. (The costs are now likely to be much greater.) This opinion indicates that the fundamental problem is less the actions of George W. Bush or Obama; it is more likely the limited understandings of the American public. Sometimes the nature of the problem is truly simple and thinking that it has to be complex creates a handicap. Achieving the best solutions to these problems (simple or not) is likely to be complex – in great part due to the following:
        There seems to be in human nature a proclivity to profess for one’s opinions more certainty assigned to knowing “the truth” than all the evidence would actually justify (false beliefs). I think that this is perhaps the greatest source for pain and sadness. The solution is to acknowledge known unknowns, and present the best quality of support (logical and empirical) for one’s stated opinions.

        1. Yes Don,”Human Nature”is the problem.The rest of it is that :outside of scientific measurement involving value free varIables and defined constants,”Truth” is contextual.
          I agree with SB that blaming Obama is an unreasonable stretch.
          My prediction of mass executions in Erdogan’s Turkey is amiss,for the moment,because of a constitutional interdict on capital punishment,but he’s working the masses up to revocation.Even more disturbing is the attack on education.5% of the higher education teachers have been fired and another 10% is under suspicion.If it sounds like the beginning of Taliban and Al Qaeda tactics(Next target women),it’s because it is !

  2. Concur with the summarization (including speculation). The totalitarian grip will definitely get tighter. As someone once said, democracy …. demos = people and cracy = … In the meantime, the suffering continues. May appointing the buffoon Johnson? What did Andy Borowitz say about their surpassing us in “dumber?” Do we shudder to ask “What else can go wrong?”

    1. It is entirely possible that the Turkish coup was encouraged and staged by the Turkish President and his allies to suck the dissident military into an attempted coup.The failed coup to be followed by a wave of arrests,kangaroo court trials and thousands of executions.The net result will be consolidation of presidential power( for self and family).A side effect is the transformation of Turkey into an Islamist. state,Equally disturbing is the appointment of Johnson as British Foreign Secretary,How can May expect this Trump clone to reestablish respectful and practical relationships with countries that he has thoroughly pissed and dissed?

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