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Islamic Democracy Is Doing Wonders

First Maliki started saying things about the catastrophe in Lebanon, and now the Turkish foreign minister, Abdullah Gul, is making angry noises about U.S. inaction.  Who are these guys?  Some sort of Shi’ites?  Maybe some sort of Islamists?  Oh, right, that’s exactly what each is respectively.  Maliki, as many know, is the Shi’ite prime minister of Iraq.  Gul is a member of AK, basically the same as the old Justice Party that became the old Motherland Party.  To use a euphemism from the post-1989 east of Europe, AK is a “reformed” Islamist party, which means that it is an Islamist party that knows how to keep its mouth shut when necessary to avoid being outlawed.  This is what Islamic democracy gets you–and these are the people Mr. Bush has been pushing on the Europeans for the last five years!  No wonder the Europeans have a bad attitude about the man.

Here’s the thing: Maliki and Gul may happen to be right about what’s happening in Lebanon right now (Gul makes a few good points in the midst of his otherwise standard diplomatic boilerplate calling for American leadership), but they represent the fundamental truth that all of the war critics stated again and again, but which the Pollyanna warmongers wouldn’t heed: democratisation of Islamic countries will undercut American interests and those of our allies, because the vast majority of the people in all these countries despise us and the governments allied with us.  Turkey is an allied government, and in the old days of secular leftist rule Turkey was developing close ties and cooperation with Israel.  Those days are rapidly vanishing as Turkish governments begin to reflect more and more the opinions of the ordinary Turk, who is not all together Israel-friendly.  Neither is the ordinary Turk a big fan of Washington or its policies.  There is a reason why a novel depicting anti-American Turkish nuclear terrorism, Metal Storm, was a big hit in the reading public there: the general population views our government with contempt.  What is Mr. Bush’s answer?  More democracy!

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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