Hoping Democracy Doesn’t Work

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Gotta love this. I found this interview via James Taranto at The Opinion Journal. It’s a interview that Jon Stewart did with Clinton aide Nancy Soderberg, author of “The Superpower Myth: The Use and Misuse of American Might”. At first I was gonna skip it since Stewart is just another one of those wacked out lefties but wait…….

Stewart: This book–it talks about the superpower myth of the United States. There is this idea, the United States is the sole superpower, and I guess the premise of the book is we cannot misuse that power–have to use it wisely, and not just punitively. Is that–

Soderberg: That’s right. What I argue is that the Bush administration fell hostage to the superpower myth, believing that because we’re the most powerful nation on earth, we were all-powerful, could bend the world to our will and not have to worry about the rest of the world. I think what they’re finding in the second term is, it’s a little bit harder than that, and reality has an annoying way of intruding.

Stewart: But what do you make of–here’s my dilemma, if you will. I don’t care for the way these guys conduct themselves–and this is just you and I talking, no cameras here [audience laughter]. But boy, when you see the Lebanese take to the streets and all that, and you go, “Oh my God, this is working,” and I begin to wonder, is it–is the way that they handled it really–it’s sort of like, “Uh, OK, my daddy hits me, but look how tough I’m getting.” You know what I mean? Like, you don’t like the method, but maybe–wrong analogy, is that, uh–?

Soderberg: Well, I think, you know, as a Democrat, you don’t want anything nice to happen to the Republicans, and you don’t want them to have progress. But as an American, you hope good things would happen. I think the way to look at it is, they can’t credit for every good thing that happens, but they need to be able to manage it. I think what’s happening in Lebanon is great, but it’s not necessarily directly related to the fact that we went into Iraq militarily.

Stewart: Do you think that the people of Lebanon would have had, sort of, the courage of their conviction, having not seen–not only the invasion but the election which followed? It’s almost as though that the Iraqi election has emboldened this crazy–something’s going on over there. I’m smelling something.

Soderberg: I think partly what’s going on is the country next door, Syria, has been controlling them for decades, and they [the Syrians] were dumb enough to blow up the former prime minister of Lebanon in Beirut, and they’re–people are sort of sick of that, and saying, “Wait a minute, that’s a stretch too far.” So part of what’s going on is they’re just protesting that. But I think there is a wave of change going on, and if we can help ride it though the second term of the Bush administration, more power to them.

Stewart: Do you think they’re the guys to–do they understand what they’ve unleashed? Because at a certain point, I almost feel like, if they had just come out at the very beginning and said, “Here’s my plan: I’m going to invade Iraq. We’ll get rid of a bad guy because that will drain the swamp”–if they hadn’t done the whole “nuclear cloud,” you know, if they hadn’t scared the pants off of everybody, and just said straight up, honestly, what was going on, I think I’d almost–I’d have no cognitive dissonance, no mixed feelings.

Soderberg: The truth always helps in these things, I have to say. But I think that there is also going on in the Middle East peace process–they may well have a chance to do a historic deal with the Palestinians and the Israelis. These guys could really pull off a whole–

Stewart: This could be unbelievable!

Soderberg:—series of Nobel Peace Prizes here, which–it may well work. I think that, um, it’s–

Stewart: [buries head in hands] Oh my God! [audience laughter] He’s got, you know, here’s–

Soderberg: It’s scary for Democrats, I have to say.

Stewart: He’s gonna be a great–pretty soon, Republicans are gonna be like, “Reagan was nothing compared to this guy.” Like, my kid’s gonna go to a high school named after him, I just know it.

Soderberg: Well, there’s still Iran and North Korea, don’t forget. There’s hope for the rest of us.

Stewart: [crossing fingers] Iran and North Korea, that’s true, that is true [audience laughter]. No, it’s–it is–I absolutely agree with you, this is–this is the most difficult thing for me to–because, I think, I don’t care for the tactics, I don’t care for this, the weird arrogance, the setting up. But I gotta say, I haven’t seen results like this ever in that region.

Soderberg: Well wait. It hasn’t actually gotten very far. I mean, we’ve had–

Stewart: Oh, I’m shallow! I’m very shallow!

Soderberg: There’s always hope that this might not work. No, but I think, um, it’s–you know, you have changes going on in Egypt; Saudi Arabia finally had a few votes, although women couldn’t participate. What’s going on here in–you know, Syria’s been living in the 1960s since the 1960s–it’s, part of this is–

Stewart: You mean free love and that kind of stuff? [audience laughter] Like, free love, drugs?

Soderberg: If you’re a terrorist, yeah.

Stewart: They are Baathists, are they–it looks like, I gotta say, it’s almost like we’re not going to have to invade Iran and Syria. They’re gonna invade themselves at a certain point, no? Or is that completely naive?

Soderberg: I think it’s moving in the right direction. I’ll have to give them credit for that. We’ll see.

Stewart: Really? Hummus for everybody, for God’s sakes.

Kinda sad when these lefties want the US to fail so they can pump their chest and say “see, the democrats were right”….can you imagine that, they want democracy to fail, human freedom to fail. Mind boggling.

While surfing around some blogs to get their take on this interview I came across a great blog called Irritant #4 written by a Lawyer I believe. I agree with most everything he had to say, except his take on the Abu Gharib thing.

Direct Causation: Bush’s coalition, which I think can be fairly called bilateral (with Britain), directly caused the ouster of Saddam. This was intended, expressed before hand, and actively done with the known result in mind. It would easily rise to the level of an intentional tort.

The Bush administration also directly caused the election which went on in Iraq. They didn’t cause 8 million Iraqis to vote, nor did they claim that they invented Democracy. But the Bush administration clearly intended for this, or something like it, to happen. Granted, there was somewhat less certainty that the election would happen successfully, but there was clearly “substantial certainty” that it would happen. That’s what the Bushies fought for, intended, and that’s what they got. Hard to take that away from them.

Direct Causation, part II: I think the ouster of Saddam and the ensuing election are “but for” results. If not for the US invading, these things would not have happened. Another result along the same line, is Libya abandoning their WMD program. When they gave up nuclear aspirations to the US, they said, “We’re doing this because we see the US isn’t fucking around.”

Extended Causation, but causation nonetheless: Ah, now we get into whether or not the Bush camp deserves credit for causing the movements in Lebanon and in Egypt. I gotta admit, they are extended consequences– not immediately caused by the US action. But look at Cleveland Park Club v. Perry, or Garratt v Dailey — sometimes our system of tort law will hold an actor liable for the damages of an intentional tort that they did not knowingly intend to cause. Seems a bit of a round-about way to offer proof, but what I am saying is that clearly the Bush camp did mean to cause this, so they clearly meet a higher standard of credit/liability for their action than the poor kid who lit a match and accidentally burned down his neighbor’s house. Granted, the kid faces a higher standard to escape liability for intentional tort because he was trespassing… But weren’t we also trespassing by invading Iraq?? (Yes, I am aware this whole tort law standard of causation applied to Bush construction isn’t holding up much better than The Polycrest when Jacl Aubrey took her into her last action…)

The Bush camp said over and over and over how they thought an example of democracy in Iraq would foment change throughout the region. Granted, it required actions taken by others that were out of the Bush camp’s control, but indeed, they correctly predicted how it would go down, and frankly, they were far too pessimistic themselves, at least publicly.

Agree Agree Agree. The Bush camp has been saying for years that once there is one beacon of light in the region it will cause more lights to be lit. Walker compares it to the Lord Of The Rings and the lighting of the fires to send for help.

Go check out the whole thing, great blog.

Check out Lance In Iraq, Notes From The Front Lines, Secure Liberty, Ace Of Spades, & Vodkapundit for more.