You will be Democratic, Or Else!
Nearly 3/4s of Americans are now skeptical about the use of force to spread democracy. The idea that the US should simply invade countries, overthrow their governments and impose “democracy” on them was championed by a coalition of American nationalists and rightwing Zionists in Washington in 2001-2003, was promoted by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (the think tank for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), the American Enterprise Institute, the Hudson Institute, the Project for a New American Century, and other rightwing think tanks and journals. The targets of this social engineering on a vast scale were never, however, authoritarian regimes friendly to Washington, but rather a handful of governments that had bad relations with the US and/or Israel. As Ret. Col. Pat Lang points out, however, armies are good for killing people and destroying things, and not very much else. Lang lived a decade in the Middle East doing military and intelligence work, and knows whereof he speaks. The American public is coming around to the same view.
The Neocon notion of aggressive war as productive of Jeffersonian democracy reminds me of the joke about the difference between Christianity and Soviet communism. The surprised commisar, on being challenged as to what communism stood for, explained that it was just Jesus’s Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The only difference, he allowed, was that “othervise ve vill shoot you.”