You're either with us, or you're a pseudo-democracy
Craig links to an article that accuses Western Europe of consisting of "pseudo-democracies." To suggest that Italy, France, Germany are "pseudodemocracies" because they are imperfect is intellectually dishonest. To suggest that a country like Ukraine, that has had about 1 month of democracy, has some sort of duty to ensure the health of Iraq's own nascent democracy is disingenuous. Even to suggest that Spain, whose voters soundly rejected their previous pro-Iraq-war government, has any remaining duty in Iraq is antidemocratic; it is not our place to tell Spain and Spaniards what they ought to do. And the result of that post-3/11 election was wholly democratic, in that it echoed the intent and voice of the majority of people. Really, Johnson's arguing for dictatorship - whereby the leadership of European countries blindly follow the US, Britain and Australia. I think Johnson's very premise is anti-democratic; he accuses certain European nations (read: those not helping in Iraq) of being "pseudo-democracies", but everything he describes is part of the democratic process. Does not democracy include the ability of the people of France or Germany not to participate in a war they think was wrong? I am always astonished by the hubris of Americans who criticize European reluctance to wage war - I'm even more astonished that a Brit wrote this piece. Germany, Italy, France, et al. have actually experienced full-fledged wars on their soil in the last 100 years. Not so the continental United States. War is something we see on TV or Movietone News; something we read about in the newspaper; something that's abstract until it hits one of us personally. All French, Germans, and Italians have been hit personally by war - not so Americans. So, when France and Germany urged the United States to let Hans Blix (remember him?) finish his inspection job in 2002-03, they were asking the US not to rush into war hastily. The legal justification we gave for war was not to depose Saddam Hussein, but to disarm him of WMDs. WMDs that Blix said he hadn't found, and WMDs that, ultimately, didn't exist. In retrospect, and objectively, the French and Germans were right. If the US wanted to depose Hussein for some other, noble, reason, it should have said so. It didn't. We went with the WMD thing. It's the most arrogant and wrong-headed thing I've read in a long time. Why would Steve Forbes publish such nonsense?