Thursday, May 13, 2004


Here is what I wrote back at the end of February about Larry Diamond, a leading democracy development theoretician and Bush administration advisor to USAID and the Iraqi CPA:


Larry Diamond is a leading theoretician of democracy development, and--as I learned today--he is senior fellow at the right-wing Hoover Institution and advisor to the CPA in Baghdad.

On the prospect for democracy in Iraq, he avers:

"A democracy can be built in Iraq. No one who engages the new panoply of associations and parties can fail to recognize the democratic pulse and possibilities."

It is statements like these that make me think Prof. Diamond should remain a theoretician and leave the democracy building to political hacks who really know how a democracy works. It also reminds me that democracy has almost nothing to do with the myths ingrained in the American psyche by years of high school social studies curricula.

Now, Dan Drezner reports, Diamond has lust his luster for Iraqi democratic aspirations:

"We just bungled this so badly," said Diamond, a 52-year-old senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. "We just weren't honest with ourselves or with the American people about what was going to be needed to secure the country...You can't develop democracy without security," he said. "In Iraq, it's really a security nightmare that did not have to be. If you don't get that right, nothing else is possible. Everything else is connected to that."

My how things can change in just a month and a half.

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