Democracy…

It’s NOT for Everyone!

Written by JB Williams

©2006-01-31

 

Throughout American history, our primary peace initiative has been our export of western democracy and freedom around the globe. Believing that all people desire and deserve freedom and liberty, and that the world would be safer, more peaceful and more prosperous, America has liberated some 70 countries and literally hundreds of millions of oppressed and brutally tyrannized people over the years. For the most part, the world is a better place as a result.

 

But occasionally, we learn that no matter our good intentions, democracy is not for everyone and the results can be something quite different than intended. Such is the case with the recent free Palestinian election that has hoisted well known terror organization Hamas into power.

 

The Middle East has never been known for peace. Known better as a hotbed of the most brutal tyranny and despotism on earth for centuries, it should come as no surprise that such a people would elect such an organization to leadership, given the chance.

 

The controversy surrounding the Holy Land has existed for centuries. The deep seated hatred between the warring parties has been ingrained in both Arabs and Jews since biblical times. Finding a road to peaceful co-existence in these parts has proven to be the most challenging peace initiative on earth. Electing Hamas is not likely to make that peace process any easier…

 

Hamas, acronym of Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya (Islamic Resistance Movement), is engaged in social welfare activities as well as in terrorist activities to achieve its political goals. It is listed as a terrorist group by the European Union, Canada, the United States, and Israel; the U.S. State Department provides a list of terrorist actions by Hamas.

 

Founded in 1987, Hamas is ideologically connected to the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt, seeks to establish an Islamic theocracy in the area that is currently Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. In pursuit of this end, Hamas affirms a right to engage in armed struggle. Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, a co-founder of Hamas, reportedly stated that the movement's goal is "to remove Israel from the map" [1].

 

From the Hamas Covenant (or Charter), "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." "The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up." "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors. "

 

What peace process can penetrate these deeply held convictions? Peace requires a commitment to lasting peace from both warring parties. According to the Hamas Covenant, their commitment is only to the eventual elimination of Israel. The Hamas charter also sees the elimination of Israel as only a stepping stone toward world wide Islamic domination.

 

Today, Hamas, supported by neighboring Arab friends, is demanding further international aid (funds) and offering temporary peace with their Jewish enemy in return. However, demands from the international community that Hamas renounce these beliefs stated in their charter have been rejected by Hamas and thus, the international aid has been denied. At a time when the international community agrees on little, on this, they seem united.

 

The Palestinian election may provide some important and vivid lessons regarding the export of werstern democratic principles. Though every human being on the planet deserves freedom and peace, democracy may not always be the means by which to achieve that goal. In this case, democracy seems to somehow legitimize Jihadists.

 

A similar lesson is playing out in Iran today, home to terror organization Hezbollah and the suicide bomber. Iran is a constitutional Islamic Republic, whose political system is laid out in the 1979 constitution called Qanun-e Asasi. Iran's makeup has several intricately connected governing bodies, some of which are democratically elected and some of which operate by co-opting people based on their religious inclinations.

 

The concept of velayat-e faqih (guardianship of the jurist) plays a crucial role in the governmental structure of Iran.[5][6] According to the Constitution[7], the Supreme Leader of Iran is responsible for the delineation and supervision of "the general policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran." In the absence of a single leader, a council of religious leaders is appointed. The Supreme Leader (Ali Khamenei) is commander-in-chief of the armed forces and controls the Islamic Republic's intelligence and security operations; he alone can declare war.

 

The President of Iran holds a very important office in Iran's political establishment. Originally a figurehead position when created after the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, the presidency has become an increasingly important office, especially since 1989. The current president is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

 

After his election President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proclaimed, "Thanks to the blood of the martyrs, a new Islamic revolution has arisen and the Islamic revolution of 1384 [the current Iranian year] will, if God wills, cut off the roots of injustice in the world." He said, "The wave of the Islamic revolution will soon reach the entire world."[5]

 

He has defended Iran's nuclear program and has accused "a few arrogant powers" of attempting to limit Iran's industrial and technological development in this and other fields, since restarting Iran’s nuclear proliferation efforts, causing the international community to once again seek sanctions from the UN Security Council.

 

Since his election as the president of Iran, Ahmadinejad has been a controversial figure. He has been subject to various allegations, ranging from election fraud to his alleged involvement in the Iran Hostage Crisis and assassinations of Kurdish politicians in Austria.

 

Starting in October 2005, Ahmadinejad has made a series of antagonistic statements about the State of Israel and its leadership, at one point describing Israel as a "disgraceful blot" and agreeing with Ayatollah Khomeini in that it needs to be wiped off the map.

 

Once again, we may be learning that democratic reform may come at great expense. In both the case of Palestine and Iran, democratic elections have resulted in the rise to power of leadership committed to anything but peace.

 

Americans see things through the prism of western civilization. Through this prism it is easy to forget in time, that there is a vitally important ingrediant to peaceful self-governance. Many Americans struggle to understand the importance of that ingrediant even here in the states today.

 

That ingrediant is a fundamental moral conviction to peaceful co-existance with those of other beliefs. Democracy and self-governance can only work in societies that require little governance at all. People who have an inherent basic respect for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of every individual, an understanding of simple moral right and wrong, need little governance and are therefore, suited for self-governance.

 

America’s founders understood this all important ingrediant and spoke about it often. Though not formed as any theocracy, America was founded upon Christian principles of set moral codes of conduct and justice. America was built by morally conscious men, on moral foundations and ideals, that all men are created equal, with certain inalienable God given rights, carved in stone in the form of a Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights, all of which aim for the peaceful open co-existance of many ideologies.

 

Such is not the case in most of the Middle East. Such is not the case in Palestine or Iran, both of which see peace as only possible in the elimination of all other belief structures.

 

The Palestinian or Iranian people at large may in fact seek a peaceful co-existance with the world. But this is impossible to prove by the recent democratic elections of leaders who openly seek another kind of peace, through Jihad and the existance of only one belief system, Islam.

 

Democratizing parts of the Middle East may prove to be much like democratizing a maximum security prison population. Freeing those who intend  harm upon the world may prove very costly.

 

Contrary to popular media rhetoric, the current war on terrorism is not limited to one man, or one country, or one terror organization or even one religion. It is limited to one ideology and all parts of the world where that ideology is believed and practiced. The ideology of hate, murder, martyrdum and Jihad. This, these groups have in common with Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

 

The Midde East, the world will not know peace until this ideology has been eliminated from the earth. If it is true that Islam is a religion of peace, then Islam must clean its own house of those who seek to destroy Islam from within its own ranks.

 

Until then, the war on terrorism will be long, broad and deadly. Those who believe in the ideology of terror have been committed to this war (Jihad) for centuries and they remain committed today.

 

The free world must be equally committed…

 

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