Tuesday, June 05, 2007

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

The Gateway Pundit reports on a league of extraordinary gentlemen. "An Iraqi political leader, a Russian democracy activist and chess champion, a Former Spanish Prime Minister, a Former Czech Dissident-President, and a former Russian prisoner and former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister" The subject: "to explore ways to promote democracy in totalitarian regimes, and the empowerment of dissidents in that process". President Bush is scheduled to address the gathering.

Wait! Isn't this what GWB set out to do before he lost his enthusiasm for it? Maybe it has to be done anyway, whether or not the world has any appetite for it.


Blogger wretchard said...

Should the West be worried about Russia or worried about worrying about Russia? Samizdata describes growing European concern over Putin while Former Spook comments on Pat Buchanan's desire to leave Russia alone.

6/05/2007 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

What a strange question. OF course they should worry. They should be concerned that a once-nation-empire is now the biggest criminal enterprise on the planet, and is using its power to undermine anyone who gets in that criminal enterprise's way.

We still don't know the extent to which Putin is capable of fomenting more terrorism against us, either with materiel or funding or influence, but we do know how much he wants to do those things, and that's bad enough.

The question though is how to threaten a criminal enterprise disguised as country, but that is ceasing to be a country.

As non state actors become more powerful, the question becomes how much longer will the nation state be the dominant political structure, or is it on its way out, passing as the Divine Right of Kings has? If there is no longer a nation state of Russia, how can Europe protect itself? How can we?

6/05/2007 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...


Re: nation state

Putin may be a czarist thief, but he's a nationalist. Can the same be said of the thieving and corrupt US politicians voting for the Mexification of the United States?

6/05/2007 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger lugh lampfhota said...

Looks to me that nation-states are for suckers these days. Better to be a tansnational corporation, warlord or international organization. Plenty of cash to be made, no accountability to anyone and plausible deniability. Welcome to the future.

6/06/2007 12:24:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

the last line on your spook link:

..."It's an example that Pat Buchanan has apparently forgotten, and George Bush would do well to emulate."

Please do not encourage Bush to fix anything else.

6/06/2007 12:40:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The first person to see a problem may not necessarily be the first to find a solution. The year 2000 started with the expectation that the world was facing a new era of peace; that multilateral institutions would continue to expand their reach. That the problems had been solved and the gains of the 20th century would be consolidated. Then came September 11. There were two schools of thought around the end of 2001. One was that the attack was a hiccup. A monstrous crime to be sure, but nothing which affected the fundamental trajectory of history. A problem that would soon be taken care of and then we would go back to the agenda of 2000. The second theory was that we were on the brink of a new generational war. GWB said so himself. The problem is that I don't think he really believed it.

Or maybe he did. Intellectually. But emotionally he was, as I was, still rooted in the end of the 20th, still convinced we were on the brink of a new and peaceful age with a little speed bump along the way. Today there are people who still think that. To them, Global Warming is all we have to worry about. That is their sincere and heartfelt belief.

The Democracy and Security Conference makes the point that totalitarianism -- real totalitarianism -- is on the rise once more. In many places and in many guises. It is sounding an alarm, calling to action. Their message is, I think, at present little noticed, though we have heard it from GWB before.

And we disregard it not simply because we have no belief in GWB, but we can hardly credit the possibility that things are so serious. And maybe it is overblown. Maybe Al Gore is right. Truly right. And all we have to worry about is Global Warming. I would do anything, seriously, for him to be right. Then all I have to do is hop on my bicycle more, using recyclable shopping bags, take shorter showers. I wish the problem were so simple.

But in my heart of hearts, whatever GWB did or failed to do, I think he right about this: that totalitarianism is on the rise again; that as a father, I and my generation may have failed to give my son a world of peace and that a future of unknown menace may lie ahead. GWB himself will at any rate soon be an ex-President. He will not be a central part of the solution. But I think he was right about the problem.

6/06/2007 01:40:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

It might be best to quote from one the background papers to the conference itself.

Increasingly, the world is divided between liberal democracies (or regimes that are striving or pretending to be liberal democracies) and regimes that are tyrannical or are tending in that direction. And it is states in the latter category that are the source of the growing security threats that confront us. Though these regimes differ greatly in many other respects, their leaders seem to be drawn together more and more by their common fear and hatred of liberal democracy--think of the unholy trinity of Ahmadinejad, Chavez, and Lukashenka. It is the tyrannical regimes that support terrorism and threaten not merely to acquire but to use nuclear weapons. Any illusions that might have emerged in the 1990s that the world was entering an era of peace or that the further expansion of liberal democracy would be smooth and inevitable have now been rudely dispelled. Liberal democracy has real and powerful enemies who are bent upon its destruction. We no longer have the luxury of pretending otherwise. Once again, as was the case during the Cold War, the imperative of maintaining our security and our way of life requires that we defend and support democracy.

The author of the paper, Marc Plattner, may be overstating his case. Then again he might not. That is after all, the nub of the question.

6/06/2007 01:50:00 AM  
Blogger lugh lampfhota said...

The Great Reset of history, when the Soviet Union went out of business, ensured a vacuum. Assuming that freedom would fill that empty space was naive. Strong men sniffed the air and smelled opportunity.

This idea in the West that everyone longs for the same things that Western man longs for is nonsense. All cultures are not equal. While the West kicked back in the lazy boy recliner, ready to harvest dividends from peace, strong men dreamed and schemed.

The West is still in denial, asleep while warlords work their schemes. Maybe we'll wake up in time, maybe not.

6/06/2007 04:36:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Allison: It always was the world's largest crimminal enterprise, and nothing more.

6/06/2007 05:22:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

And the Chicoms?
Dangerous Illusions
Peace-processing our way to disaster.
by Reuel Marc Gerecht

6/06/2007 05:37:00 AM  
Blogger Crazy Marzouq Redneck Muslim said...

"League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"

Indeed! Kinda like the denizens at The Belmont Club, if I may be so bold.

Salaam eleikum!

6/06/2007 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Thousands of Turkish Troops Enter Iraq (Debka)

Looks as though Turkey is about to spread its self-styled Turkish democracy into Kurdistan. US and western personnel are leaving the area, handing security responsibility over to the Kurds.

6/06/2007 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Except for Havel, they are a League of Losers.

Kaparov went from influential and respected to scorned as a Yeltsin sucker-upper and a Jewish neocon.
Sharansky as a Jewish neocon did more than just about anybody to become Bush's inspiration & doom Bush's Presidency with the abortion of "noble purple-fingered Iraqi Democracy".
Aznar lost his Presidency being Bush's unflinching poodle in the Iraq fiasco.
Mithal al-Alusi decided it was a wonderful time to collaborate with Israel...in his estimation the Iraqis needed to open up with more love of Israel. Follwing his visit to schmooze with the Zionists, all his sons were killed in consequence. He now is despised in Iraq and has to live with the infidels for his safety after total rejection by his people and tribe.

Sad, pathetic.

The American liberal democracy itself has shown signs of decay, corruption&cronyism, rapidly growing divide into a wealthy elite and powerless lower 95% of the population, failure of it's democratic institutions to show relevance to other nations, compete with the faster, more nimble alternative political systems of the Jihadis and rising Asian nations.

Maybe the League of Losers has poignancy for us, but evermore less so for most other nations.

6/06/2007 02:21:00 PM  

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