May ’68, Moscow sent its tanks into Czechoslovakia to crush the “Prague Spring”
and gave us “The Brezhnev Doctrine of Limited Sovereignty.” To wit, once
the Communist system has been imposed on a nation, said Moscow, there is
no turning back.
A mirror image of the Brezhnev Doctrine is the American Doctrine. Once a
nation has been “liberated,” like Germany and Japan, a U.S.-style democracy
will be imposed.
But there is a dilemma deeply embedded in democratist ideology.
What do we do if a conquered people democratically tells us to get out and
votes in a regime that rejects American values? Do we accept their democratic
decision? Will we really accept Iraq’s democratic decisions if they imperil
our interests? Or are we hypocrites and phonies, as much of the world believes?
President Bush gave his victory address aboard a 90,000-ton aircraft carrier
named for America’s most beloved president. What was Abraham Lincoln’s answer
to Southerners who voted democratically to secede? General Sherman, four
years of fire and sword, and twelve years of “Reconstruction.”
A democratic process produced Chancellor Hitler. Yet, democratists today
say we had a right to invade and overthrow the Nazi regime as early as 1933.
Where did we acquire this right? Call it The American Doctrine of Limited
When the Spanish republic began to persecute priests and nuns in the 1930s,
General Franco, to the cheers of Catholics everywhere, raised up a rebellion
and put the republic to the sword. Forty years later, Nixon’s White House
rejoiced when General Augusto Pinochet seized power from a democratically
elected President Salvador Allende, who was steering Chile toward Castroism.
And the Old Right has never condemned either coup.
In 1992, Algeria was to hold a run-off election certain to bring to power
an Islamist regime. With the blessing of France and the United States, the
Algerian government and army canceled the election. Some 100,000 have perished
in the ensuing civil war.
Any of the democracy mongers doing penance today for that one?
Recent elections in Turkey brought to power Islamists who denied us access
to their territory for the liberation of Iraq. Elections in Pakistan turned
two of four provinces over to virulent anti-Americans and admirers of Osama.
What do we Americans do if the Shi’ites of Iraq join the Sunnis in free elections
and, together, tell us to get out of their country?
Neoconservatives, with visions of Iraq as a strategic base camp from which
to strike Islamic tyrannies, are now insisting that, before elections, Iraqis
must be tutored in American values and democratic ideals, lest they commit
a blunder at the ballot box. In short, Iraqis are free to choose a government—of
which we Americans approve. Yet even if Iraqis create a constitutional republic,
Americans believe in separation of church and state, that religious indoctrination
has no place in state schools. But, like pre-Vatican-II Catholics, Muslims
believe that indoctrinating children in the faith of their fathers is the
primary purpose of education.
Acolytes of American values believe the Bill of Rights gives infidels the
right to preach, sodomites the right to practice, Larry Flynt and Salman
Rushdie the right to publish, and every woman and wife the right to fornicate
freely and have an abortion. Try selling that in Riyadh or Rawalpindi, and
the authoritarian rulers will have to rescue you from the people’s will.
If a democratic referendum were conducted today from Morocco to Malaysia
—and monitored by the National Endowment for Democracy—on the proposition:
“Resolved: Israel should be erased from the map of the Middle East and Israeli
Jews sent back where they came from,” how do you suppose it would come out?
Those who would extend the franchise to the masses should perhaps discern
first what it is the masses want.
Nazism was embraced by Germans for only a decade. When the regime went, the
Germans came home to the West. Communism, imposed on the peoples of Eastern
Europe, was always detested. When it was swept from power, these people,
too, returned to the West.
But the beliefs of Islamic peoples are rooted in a faith and tradition 1,400
years old that has proven impervious to the greatest of Christian evangelists.
Their beliefs will not be uprooted and replaced by secular humanist nostrums
and democratist nonsense in a few short years.
Rather than trying to instruct these people on how to believe, behave, and
vote, we shall one day have to settle for them raising a regime in Iraq that
simply does not threaten us or our vital interests.
It’s a foreign policy called “realism.”
First published in the June 2nd issue of the The American Conservative.
Reprinted by permission. Pat Buchanan, advisor to three presidents,
is editor of The American Conservative and hosts MSNBC's Buchanan & Press.
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