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May 04, 2004

If you don't agree with my political agenda, you're a racist!

President Bush is now calling those who are skeptical of the idea that democracy will magically crop up in Iraq in the next couple of years racist. (via Steve Sailer):

There's a lot of people in the world who don't believe that people whose skin color may not be the same as ours can be free and self-govern. I reject that. I reject that strongly. I believe that people who practice the Muslim faith can self-govern. I believe that people whose skins aren't necessarily -- are a different color than white can self-govern.

Bush's statement not only uses the tactics of the hard left, but is utterly ridiculous. First of all, Bush assumes that everyone MUST be the same and that to believe otherwise is racist. But he makes another assumption--that the nonexistence of any racial differences means that Iraq can (fairly) easily become a democracy. That is utter nonsense as well. It took hundreds of years for European countries to go from medieval hellholes to quasi-democracies.

The examples of Germany and Japan that neocons like to bring up are also fallacious. Germany was already a Western country and one that had had a democratic system under the Weimar Republic. Even Japan had begun adopting some Western ideas as early as the late 19th century, and it certainly didn't hurt either that Japan's emporer-worship was thoroughly discredited when it was defeated in WWII. However, there is absolutely no Western or democratic tradition in today's Iraq, and the radical Islam that dominates Iraq today is not going to be discredited there anytime soon.

Importantly, no country with Iraq's per capita GDP has become a democracy. The idea that Iraq can become a democracy anytime soon is foolish, and it seems to me that Bush is trying to cover up his mindless idealism with charges of racism.

Update: I would also recommend this article by George Will (also linked from Sailer's site).

Posted by bb at 03:39 PM