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Sucker or Idealist?
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David Moles quotes Seymour Hersh from an interview with Salon:

Q: Is there someone who is the Henry Kissinger in this administration?

A: Oh, believe me, I pray for one (clasps his hands and looks beseechingly upward). Wouldnít it be great if the reality was that they were lying about WMD, and they really didnít believe that democracy would come when they invaded Iraq, [that] you could go to war with 5,000 troops, a few special forces, a few bombs and a lot of American flags, and Iraq would fold, Saddam would be driven out, a new Baath Party would emerge thatís moderate? Democracy would flow like water out of a fountain. These guys believe it. They believe WMD. Thereís no fallback with these guys. These guys are utopians. Theyíre like Trotskyites. They believe in permanent revolution. They really believe.

. . . But these guys, do you realize how much better off we would be if they really were cynical, and they really were lying about it, because, yes, behind the invasion would be something real, like support for Israel or oil. But itís not! Itís not about oil. Itís about utopia. I guess you could call it idealism. But itís idealism thatís dead wrong. Itís like one of the far-right Christian credos. Itís a faith-based policy. Only it wasnít a religious faith. It was the faith that democracy would flourish.

And here's an excerpt from Bush's speech to the U.N. today:

Because we believe in human dignity, peaceful nations must stand for the advance of democracy. No other system of government has done more to protect minorities, to secure the rights of labor, to raise the status of women, or to channel human energy to the pursuits of peace. We've witnessed the rise of democratic governments in predominantly Hindu and Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish and Christian cultures. Democratic institutions have taken root in modern societies, and in traditional societies. When it comes to the desire for liberty and justice, there is no clash of civilizations. People everywhere are capable of freedom, and worthy of freedom.

Finding the full promise of representative government takes time, as America has found in two centuries of debate and struggle. Nor is there any ó only one form of representative government ó because democracies, by definition, take on the unique character of the peoples that create them. Yet this much we know with certainty: The desire for freedom resides in every human heart. And that desire cannot be contained forever by prison walls, or martial laws, or secret police. Over time, and across the Earth, freedom will find a way.

Is Bush right, or is he the wayward rube Hersh paints him as?

If you actually believe that democracy is a better form of governance, one that most people desire, does that make you a simplistic idiot?

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