A Civics course for The Greater Middle East

At the recent "G8" meeting in the U.S. state of Georgia, the world at long last heard the official version of the long-awaited political push by the Bush Administration to "democratize" the Mid-East. This following in the wake of the military invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Like it or not, apparently, the sultanates and feudal backwaters of the region are going to be dragged into the 21st Century…kicking and screaming if need be!

As someone who supports the American form of government as spelled out by the Founding Fathers in the U.S. Constitution–a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC–I think it is important for everyone in the region to understand the true nature of this push for "democracy".

Democracy from the Greek means "government by the people". Republic, as originally defined by the Romans, refers to a state of government in which both rulers and government are all subject to a codified and predefined set of laws.

The greatness of the American experiment in republican self government was that it was based on the precept that laws–such as the then-prevalent English Common Law–were based on Biblical injunctions and, hence, derived from God. Man’s rights were not given to him by other men, but by God. And governments–even republican ones–had to be strictly constrained from encroaching into the realm of Divine Law. Hence, the U.S. Bill of Rights.

On Nov. 30th, 1928, the U.S. War Department issued its "Manual of Citizenship Training" (TM2000-5, 1928) by order of Secretary of War C.P. Summerall. In it, the U.S. soldiers of the day were told the following about democracy:

"A government of the masses. Authority derived through the mass meeting or any other form of "direct" expression. Results in mobocracy. Attitude toward property is communistic–negating property rights. Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. Results in demogogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy."

(This is a telling indictment of democracy in the U.S. as first implemented after 1933 under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and leading up to the invasion of Iraq based on "…passion, prejudice and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences"–Ed.)

The U.S. War Dept. did not issue the above instructions in a vacuum.For example, addressing the Constitutional Convention on May 31st, 1787, Edmund Randolph billed the Constitution and its Republican form of government as the cure for "the evils under which the United States labored…evils (as) to their origins every man has found in the turbulence and trials of democracy."

Alexander Hamilton the following year commented that contrary to being the most perfect form of government, democracies "very character was tyranny; their figure deformity…real liberty is never found in despotism or the extremes of Democracy."

(A contemporaneous figure outside the U.S., philosopher Immanuel Kant, stated in 1795 that "democracy is necessarily despotism".)

The famous patriot of the American Revolution, Samuel Adams, warned that "…Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders. There never was a democracy that did not commit suicide."

Article IV, Sec. 4 of the U.S. Constitution, in fact, guarantees that every state in the Republic shall have a REPUBLICAN form of government, reportedly leading one state governor to remark in the 1880s that the main merit of the U.S. Constitution was not that it promotes democracy, but that it checks it.

Future President James Madison’s famous Federalist Paper #10–Republic vs. Democracy, The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection, dated Nov. 23rd, 1787–describes democracies as "spectacles of turbulence and contention…incompatible with personal security or the rights of property."

A non-American, the Duke of Northumberland, may have summed it up best when he reportedly said in 1931 that the adoption of democracy by many European nations was "…fatal to good government, to liberty, to law and order, to respect for authority and religion, and must eventually produce a state of chaos from which a new world tyranny may arise."

Sadly, in the "Greater Mid East" there is such a tyranny waiting in the wings to pick up the pieces of the chaos wrought by "democratization".