« 1/21 | Main | Who Lost Arizona? »

Stability, Democracy, and Troops

We're so attuned to think of Senator Kerry as a flip-flopper that I think we barely even notice when the charge really isn't true. That was my reaction to yesterday's <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A29230-2004Apr20.html">Washington Post editorial </a>charging that Kerry's statement, "With respect to getting our troops out, the measure is the stability of Iraq" represented a "shift on such a basic question after just a few months [that] is troubling and mistaken."


I haven't seen any defense of Kerry on this, but it seems pretty simple: What troops can achieve is stability. Democracy is built in other ways. So when and if the country is stable, with basic law enforcement mechanisms of its own, most of the U.S. and "coalition" troops can be withdrawn.


That doesn't entail giving up on democracy, though. Why should it? Consider the many countries in the world that are stable, but not democratic: Ukraine, for example, or Pakistan. Even if one takes a maximalist view of the potential for and desirability of greater democracy in Ukraine (and I work with a lot of people who do), does anyone think that the most effective way to achieve that would be to send a hundred thousand U.S. and allied troops in? Of course not. It's done by tying U.S. aid to measurable indicators of democracy and political openness, by building institutions of civil society, etc. Why should Iraq be any different? Right now, there is neither stability nor democracy, so it's all hypothetical, and we don't even know what that stable-but-not-yet-democratic Iraq will look like. But if the stable Iraq has any potential for democracy, then in the gap between stable and stable+democratic, there is no reason to have a large commitment of troops.


But if the Washington Post editorial board doesn't see that distinction, what hope is there that the Republican PR hacks of the Coalition Provisional Authority do?

Posted by Mark Schmitt on April 22, 2004 | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341ce8a553ef00d83459a12169e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Stability, Democracy, and Troops:

» Bmw. Bmw part bmw motorcycle bmw usa bmw m3 bmw car from Godzik Blog
2005 BMW 5-Series. Competition from Acura, Audi and Mercedes-Benz Make AWD 5-Series Reality... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 24, 2005 6:26:06 AM

» No Worms in this Apple from The Other Corner
Couldn't have said this (or this) better myself. Nowhere in the first amendment does it give someone the right to traffic stolen property... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 25, 2005 12:40:13 PM

» Conspicuous absenc from Crooked Ti mber
Forbes is the latest magazine trying to capitalize on the blogging thing by holding a best blog competition across various categories. It’s interesting to note that no less than 53% of voters say that the best blog on the economy... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 28, 2005 10:19:07 AM

» Email, RSS un Wikis from HIRSCgarden
Reiner Langenhan schreibt auf Handakte Von E-Mails zu RSS, in Reaktion auf meinen Beitrag im KMU-Blog: das kann ich nur best䴩gen! Ross Mayfield hat einen recht 䨮lichen Artikel in seinem Blog zu... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 30, 2005 11:09:07 AM

» CIBER Promotes Health of Healthcare Organizations Nationwide from The projects
The projects help healthcare organizations stabilize costs, measure per... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 27, 2006 11:40:16 AM

» Phoenix's Raja Bell Suspended from Kobe Bryant,
without pay for unnecessary and excessive contact with the Lakers' Kobe Bryant, [Read More]

Tracked on May 18, 2006 7:12:18 PM

» Thieves Steal Hilton's Mother's Day Gifts (AP) from mother can only
Day. Thats because thieves stole the gifts before Kathy Hilton received them. [Read More]

Tracked on May 25, 2006 10:11:48 PM

» Dictionary Search Page from Dictionary Search
An unabridged dictionary from aalii to zymurgy, including a pronunciation guide... [Read More]

Tracked on May 27, 2006 4:09:00 AM

» Bell's Return Energizes Phoenix from boost for his
unable to connect with his usually trusty jump shot, the Suns were able to even this best-of-seven series with a 106-86 victory [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 8, 2006 9:59:48 PM

» Shaq Has One Final Task from first trip to
wee hours, the man who delivered them to this hallowed ground barely cracked a [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 12, 2006 1:21:05 PM

» Small Businesses Need Disaster Planning from to Avoid Losing
to Avoid Losing Everything, Disaster Preparedness Is a Must for Small Businesses [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 12, 2006 9:16:20 PM

» Anthony Bonner brings ABA back to St. Louis from announced today
& Entertainment, Inc, has reserved the rights to establish an American Basket... - ABA St. Louis Stunners [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 16, 2006 11:32:21 PM

» Is It a Five Horse Race This Year? from in the Finals.
plays from being the team to lose to the Spurs in the Finals. And, had D. [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 18, 2006 12:21:08 AM

» Anonymous comments in disabled for news from disabled since
since there has been a lot of spam despite spam protections. I am tired of removing it now. [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 24, 2006 3:16:15 PM

» Johnson Aims to Be Mavs' Stopper from to ask,
Sefko of the DALLAS MORNING-NEWS. Sadly, when it comes to guarding Dwyane Wade, the physical point guard can't provide [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 1, 2006 2:29:31 PM

» Report: Meat Now America's No. 2 Condiment from best Big Three
best Big Three standards salsa and mayonnaise for the first time. read more [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 8, 2006 12:39:49 AM

» Turkey fights Ebola-like fever outbreak (AP) from people this year,
year, and experts said Tuesday more cases of the Ebola-like disease are inevitable [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 9, 2006 6:43:44 AM

Comments

You know, I find the WaPo editorial board to be incredibly annoying. It's as if they don't read their own damn paper, and get their news from the WaTi instead.

Posted by: asdf | Apr 22, 2004 5:28:00 PM

I don't have any good answers on this but at this point I'm not sure increased troops is the answer unless we are willing to actually try to ensure security among the Iraqi people.

as Fareed Zakaria put it:

Patrolling streets, fighting crime, making contact with locals isn't what people join the army to do. It also interferes with force protection, an understandable and legitimate concern of commanders. And yet, success in Iraq will depend on successful peacekeeping.


The truth which no one seems to be willing to address is that ensuring security in Iraq requires more dead Americans.

I post on this basic conundrum at between security and casualties at Kautilyan

Posted by: lerxst | Apr 23, 2004 10:49:55 AM

The Alliance for Justice has launched a new website urging Justice Scalia to recuse himself from the Cheney energy case! Check it out: www.ChooseToRecuse.org Scalia can recuse himself anytime before the Supreme Court renders its decision.

There is a great flash animation that goes with it too. You have to see "Quid Pro Quack" http://www.allianceforjustice.org/action/scalia/flash.htm Duck'em!

Posted by: Natacha | Apr 23, 2004 12:43:08 PM

Post a comment