Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The neocons couldn't wait to bring democracy to Iraq, but in Egypt, not so much

When the United States backed dictator Saddam Hussein throughout the 1980s, we were told Iraq would serve as a bulwark against Iran. Without Hussein in power, Iran could influence the rise of an Islamic state in Iraq. When we ousted Hussein in 2003, we were told that we were giving Iraqis democracy, yet we remain in that country almost a decade later due in large part to the fear that a free Iraq might choose a fundamentalist Islamic regime.

As evidenced by Iraq, American foreign policy seems to be that dictators are good so long as they're our dictators and democracy is good so long as it's our kind of democracy, and those who consistently push for U.S. foreign intervention will argue for either accordingly.

With America's support for Hussein sufficiently far enough in the past, in the early 2000s neoconservatives successfully crafted a "freedom" narrative in order to get the American people to allow them to get their way in Iraq. In his second inaugural address, President George W. Bush even pledged to end "tyranny around the world" as part of a "freedom agenda."

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