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Before we go on our journey on the Wayback machine, please donate to these organizations that are helping Burma today:
Doctors without Frontiers and the International Red Cross.
First read Professor Douglas' two posts on Liberal Internationalism and Burma.
Burma, a military dictatorship since 1962, suffered death and destruction from Cyclone Nargis. After the Cyclone, there were a lot of words by Liberals about how bad this Dictatorship is and how something must be done (as in Darfur).
Wonderful -- Wilsonianism lives within the hearts of Democrats! Or does it?
Let's hop on our wayback machine to 2004, did Democrats believe in spreading Democracy in the Middle East? According to Senator Kerry, the answer was No.
What happens to Democrats and Wilsonianism under a Democratic President? To answer this question, we take our Wayback machine to 1998. Democrats, under a Democratic President, support the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998.
And now, our wayback machine takes us back to 1990. The New York Times seemed to agree that the US Military should be used for Wilsonian purposes. Also, that same year, I was a Liberal Democrat. I took part in protesting Gulf War I.
Why? Because America had a job to spread democracy around the world. When the Democrats protested in 2003 about the War in Iraq, my head spun. Isn't ridding the world of dictators a good thing? As we ride our wayback machine to 2008, it seems that Democrats are more comfortable dealing with dictators then "Liberating" people under the boot.
Here is the crux, to negotiate with a dictatorship in power means the Dictatorship decides if it will free it's people. Moses asked "Let my People go," 10 times. Until the Hand of G-d smites Pharaoh's own first born, the Jews were slaves in Egypt. And Moses did not act alone, he had outside help. For now it seems, the Democrats are very comfortable letting Dictators remain Caesers to their people. Let the Dictator decide who should be free. When has any ruler given up power unconditionally?
If the US is to remain the beacon of Democracy, spread the franchise.
For me to become a believer in Democrats spreading democracy, if asked by a future Democratic Administration support Liberal Internationalism (what the protests against President George HW Bush were about); I will Google the name of the person asking and then put "Iraq Democracy," If no positive words show, then no, I will not help.
My question is: If spreading democracy is such a bad idea in 2003, why no protests during the bombing of Kosovo in 1995? Or the bombing of Iraq in 1999? If spreading Democracy is a good idea, why does it matter what the party of the President taking the idea forward is?
Thank you for riding the Wayback machine.