Douwe Osinga's Blog: The war is over

Friday, May 2, 2003

So, the war is sort of over, or has it just begun? You seem to hear more of the Syria-is-next theory lately. Let's try and hold in the Bush-bashing for a bit here and assume that indeed the Americans are riding out to spread the good gospel of democracy. What should be next? Syria is probably not very high on the list.

The number one spot on the evil list is pretty secure. North Korea. No other country is as much a thread for its neighbors, the world at large and its own population. The problem of course is that they probably do have nukes and Seoul is pretty close by. The world economy wouldn't survive such a conflict.

If the war mongers in Washington would like to please the lefties for once, then they could do worse then attack Myanmar, a country high on the list of evil regimes for your average protester. Attacking it would of course bring back pictures of Viet Nam, with the same kind of jungle and difficult fighting conditions.

Africa offers numerous options for the changing of nasty regimes. Congo springs to mind of course with a good two million dead over the last few years. Sudan decided to abolish slavery for like the tenth time, so that can't be good. And then there are the truly failed states of West Africa. Civil war started in Liberia, then spread to Sierra Leone, caught on in Guinea and now the old success story of Cote d'Ivoire is threatened. Send in the marines indeed. And we'll always have Somalia.

The bottom line of course is that regime changing is not really about spreading democracy where it is most needed. It is a complex mixture of economic and military arguments. The well being of the planet is a small part in that. And even if it was about democracy, do we really trust one country to decide what is democratic and what isn't? That wouldn't be very democratic.