Has America Abandoned the Cause of Democracy in the Middle East?

(New Republic) David Schenker - U.S. pursuit of stability in the Middle East over the course of many generations did not improve American security but rather accomplished the opposite: By supporting repressive regimes, we merely strengthened radical Islam. Moreover, the Hamas victory does not highlight the danger of democracy so much as the danger of an excessive focus on elections as a substitute for real democratic development - including the principles of rule of law, balance of powers, and accountability. Democratic development is an arduous and time-consuming process, and progress will not be linear. The administration's commitment to the democracy project was the right decision five years ago and remains so today. The writer is a senior fellow in Arab politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

2006-06-22 00:00:00

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