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Islamic Democracy: One (necessary) step backward, then two steps forward

Reader comment on item: Radical Islam as Its Own Antidote[, Argues Reuel Gerecht]

Submitted by Billy Chosen (United States), Jun 23, 2005 at 22:31

Mr. Pipes,

Though I hope you are right, my gut tells me Gerecht is probably right. I've likened the situation to raising kids: namely, sometimes the best, if not only, way to teach a lesson is to have the kids sit in (and wallow in) their own slop. Applied to Iran, since 1979 there has been no imperialist America to blame for all its woes. Rather they've wallowed in their own do-do, and Iran's secularization has been organic/natural, which likely makes it long lasting. In short, like it or not, democracy is a process.

That said, I agree the stakes are too high to let fundamentalists rule the roost, especially when nuclear weapons are involved. Unlike with kids sitting in their own slop, here the transition period can be deadly. As such, I agree it's worth trying to prop up moderates, but ironically too often doing so actually works to the fundamanetalists' advantage as they paint the moderates as Uncle Sam's lackey.

All said, but for the nuclear problems, I'd be for letting the fundamentalists take "Democratic" control and self-destruct their countries so as to then create the necessary, natural conditions for Democracy. But is that risk -- and wait -- we can afford?

--Billy Chosen
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