Mark Helprin in the LA Times:

THE PRESIDENT believes and often states, as if it were a self-evident truth, that "democracies are peaceful countries." This claim, which has been advanced in the past in regard to Christianity, socialism, Islam and ethical culture, is the postulate on which the foreign policy of the United States now rests. Balance of power, deterrence and punitive action have been abandoned in favor of a scheme to recast the political cultures of broad regions, something that would be difficult enough even with a flawless rationale because the power of even the most powerful country in the world is not adequate to transform the world at will.

Nor is the rationale flawless…

Even without reference to the case of a democracy that, finding self-defense insufficient justification and retaliation an insufficient end, makes war on a non-democracy so as to make the non-democracy a democracy, the postulate on which the president has in all good faith chosen to rely is contradicted by inconvenient fact.
Helprin, btw, is a conservative who has served as a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and as a speechwriter for former GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole.

I’m beginning to think that the only thing that may save us from the seemingly unstoppable conservative movement in its current, anti-democratic incarnation is an allegiance between ethical, traditional conservatives and real progressives, who share in common a respect for democracy, the Constitution, and civil liberties—not to mention a willingness to debate each other honestly on process and policy. I’m perfectly willing to set aside ideological differences with someone with whose politics I tend to disagree, as long as we share the same desire to put an end to the destructive forces currently leading us in a very, very wrong direction, and I hope that both progressives and traditional conservatives with the power to actually effect change share that opinion. The Gore-Barr hook-up scheduled for today is an encouraging start.

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