Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Democracy at what cost?

March 25, 2009

Re "Nurturing Lebanon's fragile freedom," Opinion, March 19

Max Boot claims that to save the Lebanese democracy that President Bush gave us, we must undermine its primary actor and beneficiary, Hezbollah. The logic is reminiscent of our quixotic Vietnam War mission of destroying villages in order to save them.

Boot dismisses those such as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton who would focus on development, defense and diplomacy over spreading democracy in the Middle East. But the Boots of the world have the cart before the horse. Democracy is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Spreading democracy willy-nilly and proclaiming the foundation of civil society is like handing out guns to all takers and saying you have a brand new police force.

That is why the grown-ups in foreign policy have realized that we have to bolster the liberal elements of repressed societies, so that when they get their turn at the ballot box, we get Anwar Sadats instead of Hassan Nasrallahs.

Branden Frankel

Los Angeles

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|