I should clarify, that't not what I think we should be doing, that was from the point of view of the realists that run our FP.
We had a democratic and secular regime in Persian Iran in the 50s. The only problem was they wanted to control their own resources (shock horror!). Now the Cold War is over, but judging how we (the West broadly) treat democracies who won't play ball on our terms, I don't think a democratic and secular regime in the Middle East WOULD serve our purposes (again from the perspective of those who call the shots).
Democracy means the people get a say. Given the last 15 years, I think many people might call for an immediate ejection of Western forces, and for the state to exercise sovereignty over its resources. This doesn't jive with what we want, but it would be reasonable position in a democratic and secular country.
I agree that conditions aren't ripe for democracy in many or any of the countries we've been talking about. But take Egypt for example. The Muslim Brotherhood won an election, fair and square but instead of accepting it, we put the military right back into power. We could have dealt with them as a government, and it would have had a moderating effect on their policies. Sure it would have taken time, but isn't that preferable to the mass executions by the Army driving them back underground where they will resort to violence to get their point across?
Similarly, by helping the Saudi royal family maintain its grip on power, all we're guaranteeing is whatever comes after them will be hostile to the West, and extremely reactionary.
Our strategy has brought nothing but more extremism, largely in reaction to the incredibly corrupt and ruthless regimes we put in power. Jack Layton was called "Taliban Jack" for suggesting we deal with the Taliban. Well guess what we're doing right now? It takes patience, but diplomacy will usually have a better outcome than military action.
You'll notice, I hope, Kilo
, that I'm not disagreeing with the general thrust of your argument, I'm just trying to knock some of the rough edges off your notions ... or however than analogy is supposed to work.
The Anglo-American engineered coup in Iran in 1953 was a blunder and it has coloured policies ~ ours, theirs, Russia's ~ ever since, generally for the worse, especially to the degree that we learned the wrong lessons.
But, even if Mohammad Mosaddegh had been left in peace, even if the Iranians had been allowed to make their own, sovereign decisions about their own, sovereign resources, little ~ nothing in my estimation ~ would have changed on the social
front. The Shia~Sunni split would still have worsened, the Wahhabi (and it's cousins) influence would still have grown and spread like a cancer; and so on ... both secularism and the sorts of foundations that are needed for a real democracy to take root were never
present in most of what is now the Islamic Crescent
; that is one of the reasons, in my opinion, why islam took such easy root there ~ it offered something much more coherent than the systems in place 1,500, 1,000, 500 years ago and, in parts of Africa, right now.
It took us centuries ~ arguably since, say, 1265 ~ to "fertilize" the social ground well enough for democracy to take root and flourish. Why one earth should we expect any other culture to do it in significantly less time?
Anyway ... keep at it, Kilo
~ you're not making many friends here but that shouldn't bother you too much. I, obviously, don't have you on
~ I don't ignore people because I diasgree with them; I ignore them because either:
1. They cannot make a cogent argument; or
2. Their opinions are odious.