Tag Archives: Islam

Arab Democracy Will Take Time: That Should Not Surprise Us

The following is the first in a series of articles on democracy.

Many western observers of the Arab Spring are surprised that democracy has not taken hold in internet or social media time. It appears that they have forgotten just how long it took to establish democracy in the west. Perhaps it is necessary to explain, that despite our hopes and expectations, the Arab world cannot achieve a Renaissance, a Reformation and democracy at warp speed. That very same transformation took Europeans several hundred years.

To better understand the nature and consequences of the Arab Spring and other events in the Middle East we need to develop a better understanding of the history of democracy in the region and how it compares to what happened in Europe. Continue reading

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If The Taliban Are So Vile And Repugnant, Why Not Defeat Them With Propaganda?

War is as much about propaganda as it is about fighting and weapons. Wars are popular or unpopular, and therefore winnable or unwinnable, depending on their level of public support. The US and NATO should bear this in mind if they want to win the war against the Taliban.

Napoleon promised the people of Europe freedom from oppressive monarchies—he was successful until people no longer believed in him. Bush and Blair used WMDS to scare people into initially supporting the invasion of Iraq.

America lost the war in Vietnam not on the battlefield but on the TV screen as news channels brought the horror of the war into the living room of the American people. During World War I the British concocted the story that the Germans were throwing Belgian babies into the fire. That was to play a major role in influencing American participation in the war.

Continue reading

The Arab Conquest and Democracy: A Response to Professor Chaney on Zakaria’s GPS

Dear Professor Chaney

I am a great fan of Fareed Zakaria’s GPS on CNN. On his program of April 8 he featured a proposition put forward by yourself, and which is also stated in his blog entry Zakaria: Explaining the Arab world’s democracy deficit as follows:

“The democracy deficit today exists in lands that were conquered by Arab armies after the death in A.D. 632 of the Prophet Muhammad”.

While very clearly stating that Islam as of itself cannot explain this deficit, the argument still focuses on things Islamic and it leaves me puzzled as to the nature of and the reasons for its omissions.   Continue reading