Freedom via Government?
President Bush continues to push for democratic elections in
Iraq – part of his call for "the advance of freedom". The
backdrop is of course the US Presidential elections back at home
– and the now 12 month old ‘Saddamist
insurgency’ on Iraqi soil, at a cost of around 600 American
Television coverage of Iraqi’s mutilating the bodies of
American soldiers (in Falluja) amidst cheering crowds do not help
build confidence in the idea that civil order and self-governance
is anywhere in sight. It is also evident that international
militants are major contributors to organised ongoing
hostilities. This war is much bigger than Iraqi Nationalism.
"Several Iraqis interviewed on Wednesday, including
middle-class professionals, merchants and former members of Mr.
Hussein's army, suggested that the United States might be facing
a war in which the common bonds of Iraqi nationalism and Arab
sensibility have transcended other differences, fostering a war
of national resistance that could pose still greater challenges
to the Americans in the months, and perhaps years, ahead."(1)
Democracy, the advance of freedom....? There are many views as
to the effectiveness of democracy – and whether or not such
a form of governance could ever be workable given the Arab
"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot
exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will
continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that
they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.
From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates
who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the
result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose
fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."
"The average age of the worlds greatest civilizations from the
beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200
years, these nations always progressed through the following
sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith
to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to
abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to
apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back into
Governments: Russia & China..
Keep an eye on Russia and China – both superpowers
feature in prophecy – and we will witness in our times the
strengthening of both nations as military powers. The Russian
political situation is interesting, a decade of electoral
democracy has been run, and yet recent events demonstrate that
"strong men – not laws – still rule, and prosperity
still rests on one fickle resource: oil."(3). Recent reports tell
us that the siloviki (former KGB) are alive and well –
operating within prominent positions of the government. The
recent Yukos oil scandal has provided momentum for the resurgence
of a very ‘controlled state’ - even if it means
sacrificing a bit of freedom. Then there is China, which no one
mentions as a model for the Middle East, precisely because it has
never held national elections. Admittedly, you have to swallow
hard to say that China, with its reprehensible record on human
rights, is a model for anyone.
But China’s record is no worse than the sham democracies
of Central Asia and Africa, where elections have done nothing to
safeguard individual liberties. Those basket-case states point to
the likely future of Iraq, too, if elections are pushed with too
much haste. For if that happens, Iraq is far less likely to
emerge looking like Azerbadjian, an electoral dictatorship with a
corrupt petrodollar economy.
The China model offers the best way out of the
premature-election trap, which is to start with economic reform.
Over the past two decades Beijing has become one of the
world’s fastest-growing economies, one of the major trading
nations. It is improving its education and health care services,
and making rapid progress in science and technology.
In recent years it has begun shifting from economic to
political reform: establishing modern laws and institutions and
holding local elections. Though the government tries to control
the media, some 70 million people have access to the
Some subjects remain taboo, but there is real policy debate in
the press, on TV talk shows and in universities…
Arab societies might at least consider the China model. Or
they could look at South Korea, Taiwan or Singapore, all of which
were as dirt-poor as China when they, too, began reform with
These countries are far more relevant to the Arab experience
than post-war Germany and Japan, which are often cited by the
Bush Administration, but were rich, industrialised and war torn,
not backward and war torn. Even in post-war Germany, national
elections didn’t take place for more than four years...
Democracy aside – real governance is a spiritual matter:
Ezekiel prophesied of a military confederacy of nations who
would join in attacking Israel. The leader of the alliance is
identified as Gog - joined by Magog. Who are the nations
involved? Gog comes out of the land of Magog – Rosh,
Meshech and Tubal. Genesis 10 helps us identify Noah’s
descendants who settled in various parts of Asia.
The Greeks referred to Magogs descendents as Scythians –
Asian ancestors of the Coassaks, Mongols, and some others
(Southwest Russia). SO modern day Iran, Germany, Turkey and the
central Asiatic peoples aligned with Russia
(1). See New York Times 01.04.04
(2).Alexander Tyler (The University of Edinborough 1787) "The
Fall of The Athenian Republic"
(3). See Frank Brown "Shadowy figures creeping into power" NZ
(4). See Jeffrey E. Garten – "Wealth before democracy"
Weekend Herald 22-23/11