Media – Democracy … Right Now!

The constant media barrage against the administration is a given now, especially with regard to the Iraqi situation, though the press has never screwed down as hard with respect to the operation in Afghanistan as with the one in Iraq. It is amazing, though, that the supposedly educated media performers can at least seem so naďve or…well, dumb, with respect to being able to get things in perspective. Case in point: Tim Russert’s guest on Meet the Press on 26 March was State Secretary Condoleezza Rice, one of the subjects being the horrific pronouncement by Afghani Islamic fanatics/officials that an Afghan man who had renounced Islam in favor of Christianity was required to die for that privilege and should probably suffer greatly in the bargain. Russert was duly aghast at such a proposition, and, of course, the media drumbeat has sort of gone along the lines of, “Mercy…did we actually free such animals in the obviously hopeless task of introducing democracy into their benighted, pestilential land?”

Flash back to the last half of the 18th century. The English (Tories), French, Indians (okay, Native Americans), and most colonists were in one big fight in North America. Each wanted to own the whole place. When the French discovered they couldn’t prevail they more-or-less threw in with the colonists against the English, and the Indians went both ways, depending upon time, place, and circumstance. The whites placed a premium of sorts on education, while the Indians were without any appreciation of it, at least as it was understood to exist by the others. After a period of sort of informal war-waging for years, the Revolutionary War was fought roughly/officially in the years 1775-1783. During this time, the Declaration of Independence came on line 4 July 1776, and the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union were ratified in 1781 (after four years of ratification arguments in the Congress/state legislatures). Unbelievably – even in that time of slow travel and communication – the Constitution was not ready for signing until 1787 and was not ratified and made effective until March 1789, with the president taking office the next month, 12 long years after the beginning of the process among a relatively well-educated people not strung out on religion.

So…the media types, apparently unaware of their own history, just can’t understand why democracy is not sufficiently in place as early as yesterday in Afghanistan and Iraq, both completely locked-up in fanatical religion, comprised of bloodthirsty tribes seeking to dominate everything and everyone, and sporting 36- and 40-percent literacy rates, respectively. The U.S. led coalition began its invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 and by January 2004 the nation had a Constitution, with president Karzai elected to the presidency the next October, a bare three years after the beginning of the process, with the people voting twice. How about that converted Moslem (reported to have been given a reprieve)? The U.S. Constitution legitimized slavery, calling for the question: which is worse, taking a life literally or taking a life by owning it? It would be another 80 or so years and after a bloody civil war costing 600,000 lives before everyone in this country would be free, at least after a fashion. Do the media types see a connection or any comparisons to make? Of course not! They’re too busy grandstanding and working their agendas.

With respect to both Afghanistan and Iraq, much is justifiably made by this government of the fact that women can now vote in those countries and hold office, something forbidden before the American/coalition action, at least in Afghanistan. Also, they can be educated now so that the miserable literacy circumstance will improve. Do the media types understand that in the free United States women were not allowed to vote until 1920, an unbelievable 131 years after they were supposed to be free? Do the media types understand that senators were not elected by popular vote in this country until 1913, when that privilege was taken from state legislatures, where a virtual handful of guys in smoke-filled rooms could call the shots? No…or they’re too dumb to connect any dots.

In 2005 alone, there were three nationwide elections in Iraq, coming within a virtual two-year timeframe from the time coalition forces invaded the country in March 2003. Seventy percent of the electorate voted in the last election, held in December 2005 (compared to 42% in this country in 2004). The country has a governing body with elected officers and a Constitution. Even in the face of constant fighting among factions and insurgents that hate each other, both in the government and in the field, the Iraqis have done in two years what it took the colonists in this country, amid the same sort of circumstances, to do in 12 years. During the Revolutionary War, the Netherlands, France, and Spain weighed in against their archenemy, Britain, thus helping the colonists to victory. In the Iraqi conflict, the principal stabilizing and enabling forces are those of the United States and Britain. The situations encountered by the colonists in the 1700s can arguably be said to be similar to those obtaining in Iraq today. Bushwhackers either don’t know their history so they can make substantive judgments, or they simply choose to ignore it and make themselves look silly in the bargain.

Democracy is not cheap, hard to come by, and takes time to develop. George Bush said in 2000 when he ran for the presidency that this country would not engage in nation-building, but the events of 11 September 2001 changed that. Also, the new evidence that is now being developed indicates that Saddam DID have WMD, which has been the belief in this corner all along, coupled with the belief that he transported it out, probably to Syria, shortly before the invasion in March 2003. Notwithstanding the possibility that the intelligence could have been erroneous, though thought accurate in a number of countries including Britain and Russia, this country and by extension the world, especially the countries in the Middle East that existed constantly in the knowledge that they were at the mercy of Saddam at any time (Kuwait), are much safer today. This, as well as other things mentioned above, is what the mainstream-media types should know, but do they, and, if so, why not lighten up a bit? Bush is in the oval office until 2009. Why constantly beat up on him and the administration, especially in a manner guaranteed to reflect their animus but not their integrity or intellect?