Spreading Democracy in the Middle East is a Bad Idea

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Democracy in the Middle East

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Debate description coming soon.

  • Flynt Leverett

    For

    Flynt Leverett

    Senior Fellow and Director of the Geopolitics of Energy Initiative of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation

  • Dimitri K. Simes

    For

    Dimitri K. Simes

    Founding President of The Nixon Center and Publisher of its foreign policy magazine

  • Shibley Telhami

    For

    Shibley Telhami

    Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, College Park

  • Liz Cheney

    Against

    Liz Cheney

    Attorney and Specialist in the areas of U.S. Middle East policy and reform in the Arab world

  • Danielle Pletka

    Against

    Danielle Pletka

    Vice President for Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute

  • Natan Sharansky

    Against

    Natan Sharansky

    Chairman of the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies at The Shalem Center in Jerusalem

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Flynt Leverett

For The Motion

Flynt Leverett

Senior Fellow and Director of the Geopolitics of Energy Initiative of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation

Flynt has served as senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council, Middle East expert on the secretary of state's policy planning staff and senior analyst at the CIA.

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Dimitri K. Simes

For The Motion

Dimitri K. Simes

Founding President of The Nixon Center and Publisher of its foreign policy magazine

Before the establishment of the center, Simes served as chairman of the Center for Russian and Eurasian Programs at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Simes was born in Moscow and immigrated to the United States in 1973.

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Shibley Telhami

For The Motion

Shibley Telhami

Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, College Park

Telhami is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution. In 2006, He served on the Iraq Study Group as a member of the Strategic Environment Working Group.

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Liz Cheney

Against The Motion

Liz Cheney

Attorney and Specialist in the areas of U.S. Middle East policy and reform in the Arab world

Liz served most recently as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs (2005-2006). Her responsibilities included designing and managing US Government programs to promote democracy in the Arab world. Cheney served previously as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs (2002-2004), at U.S. AID (1989-1993), and as an attorney in private practice and at the International Finance Corporation.

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Danielle Pletka

Against The Motion

Danielle Pletka

Vice President for Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute

Danielle's research areas include the Middle East, South Asia, terrorism and weapons proliferation. She recently served as a member of the Task Force on the United Nations, established by the U.S. Institute of Peace.

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Natan Sharansky

Against The Motion

Natan Sharansky

Chairman of the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies at The Shalem Center in Jerusalem

From March 2003 until May 2005, Natan was an Israeli minister responsible for Jerusalem, social and Jewish diaspora affairs. He also has served as the deputy prime minister of Israel. He emigrated from the Soviet Union to Israel in 1986.

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Declared Winner: For The Motion

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2 comments

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  • Comment Link Jenni Tuesday, 25 March 2014 18:39 posted by Jenni

    I believe that by promoting democracy in the Islamic world, you give a voice to the average citizens of those countries who are just trying to live honest lives, and thus take power away from those extremist groups and terrorists. I also believe that by giving votes to women of those countries and by that, giving them a voice, it will help give positive influence on their governments and reduce, and hopefully eliminate terrorist groups.

  • Comment Link Alesi Sunday, 09 September 2012 12:00 posted by Alesi

    Brill: A typically msvisae misrepresentation of Arnold's position. If this doesn't establish your intellectual dishonesty, I don't know what will.Arnold has suggested that a country with the knowledge to make nuclear weapons and the uranium lying around at 3.6% enrichment capable of being enriched to 95% and the centrifuges to do it is an acceptable option for the world. He argues that such a country is not a nuclear weapons or proliferation threat.You turn that into an argument that Arnold is advocating hundreds of nations with the uranium to make thousands of bombs and the knowledge to do it and even to assemble an unlimited number of “fuel free” but otherwise ready-to-fire nuclear bombs. Arnold has merely said that a nuclear weapon with no material is not a threat and that is correct. More importantly, Arnold has never advocated Japan actually building an unlimited number of “fuel free” but otherwise ready-to-fire nuclear bombs. This is clearly a totally dishonest misrepresentation of Arnold's position. Arnold is not interested in establishing that every nation should have a Japan option, but that if Japan is allowed that option, then Iran should be allowed it as well. And since in fact that Japan option is merely the result of the technology of the full fuel cycle, BY DEFINITION if countries are not allowed it, it essentially repudiates the entire NPT and denies nuclear energy programs to anyone but the current NWS.Then, when it is suggested that it would be better if Israel, Pakistan and India did not have actual nuclear weapons, you dismiss that with the request that we ask them to disarm which in fact is precisely what the US and the UN should be doing.Clearly you have a beef with Israel being asked to disarm, since I don't think you really care about either Pakistan or India.Quote:“Iran’s nuclear case should, and can only be reviewed… under Iran’s current NPT obligations and rights.”Iran is clearly within its rights to insist on this. Unfortunately, the UN Security Council, US and EU have all disagreed with Iran and imposed sanctions. We’re at an impasse.End QuoteSo what? Your suggestion that Iran disclose more which is far more useless than the request that Israel disarm which you dismissed derisively isn't going to resolve that impasse because the impasse is the INTENTION of the US and Israel.Quote:“If Americans do want to see more disclosure about Iranian peaceful nuclear program and intentions …, they in fact need to first recognize Iran’s full NPT rights including full nuclear fuel cycle….”Iran is clearly within its rights to insist on this. Unfortunately, the UN Security Council, US and EU have also disagreed with Iran and imposed sanctions. We’re at an impasse.End QuoteDitto. Once again you put the onus on Iran to do something MORE which we've already established will not change the impasse. I assume you mean “NPT coupled with Iran’s Safeguards Agreement.” If so, Iran agrees with you. Most of the world disagrees. That’s precisely why the IAEA drafted the Additional Protocols and 100 countries agreed to them. Once AGAIN as did Iran for TWO YEARS. Another fact you refuse to acknowledge as relevant to your disclose more nonsense. Quote:Since you’ve added the word “informed,” I agree your statement probably is true, though not by as wide a margin as I suspect you believe. My hope is that it will become even more true if Iran takes confidence-building steps to persuade the still-large doubting portion of the “informed world,” and that the “informed world” will then use its disproportionate influence to persuade the far larger “uninformed world” that Iran’s nuclear intentions are peaceful, just as you and I believe.End QuoteAnd once AGAIN, the uninformed world is irrelevant to the situation. The issue is that some of the INFORMED world namely the US and Israel are LYING about the issue. 16 US intelligence agencies whose report is KNOWN to Barack Obama stated that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program and they did not even establish that there was one, I add AGAIN in 2003. Yet Barack Obama repeatedly states that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program. This is a LIE. No amount of Iranian disclosure will affect the fact that the US and Israel are LYING. The US and Israel and the EU have deliberately convinced the uninformed of a LIE. No amount of disclosure which would not even be REPORTED by the controlled media in the US would be able to change the uninformed opinion and the uninformed opinion does not control the actions of the US and Israel governments anyway.Quote:I’m not quite sure what you mean, since I’ve never suggested the Additional Protocols should be applied “in a discriminatory fashion” to Iran. The Additional Protocols don’t govern Iran’s “Japan option” rights that you consider it so vital to preserve: Iran’s rights to stockpile enough fuel to make “thousands of bombs” and to assemble an unlimited number of “fuel free” but otherwise ready-to-fire nuclear bombs. End QuoteThis is totally dishonest. You know full well that you yourself have argued that Iran needs to disclose more in fact, more than the Additional Protocol requires because Iran has ALREADY DONE THAT FOR TWO YEARS. You keep saying Iran should disclose more than Japan but Iran has ALREADY DONE THAT FOR TWO YEARS. You say you mean Iran should disclose as much as Japan, but since Iran already did that with no benefit, clearly you mean Iran should disclose MORE than Japan. And since you do not believe Iran should be allowed to have the Japan option, that is discriminatory. Worse, it is an attempt to deny Iran ANY capability to enrich uranium as is allowed by Japan because the Japan option is inherent to uranium enrichment technology.The statement that the AP does not govern the Japan option is meaningless. By definition, the Japan option is allowed to ANY state that masters the fuel cycle. Therefore if you believe the Japan option is not to be allowed to any state which has mastered the fuel cycle, you are in essence repudiating the NPT entirely. All you would allow a state to do is buy light water reactors from the current NWS. This is clearly unacceptable to any sovereign state with the resources to enable its own nuclear program especially states which are under threat from the NWS such as Japan is from China and Iran is from Israel. Therefore, to allow Japan the Japan option and deny it to Iran is discriminatory.Arnold is arguing that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. He doesn't care whether Japan has the capacity to make thousands of bombs because he knows Japan would not do so unless directly threatened and thousands of bombs is irrelevant hyperbole in any case. The same applies to Iran except that as I point out, Iran doesn't have the industrial resources to make thousands of bombs or even a strategically significant number of them within a reasonable time frame to be militarily useful, while Japan can. So the Japan option is almost useless to Iran and I believe the Iranians know it.Which makes the US and Israel LYING about the Iranian program that much worse and that makes your argument that Iran would gain ANYTHING from disclosing more than it has already disclosed worthless.Personally I would hope Iran would decide to just give up and ratify the Additional Protocol and allow msvisae intrusive inspections. The primary benefit would be to force you to come up with some other hasbara garbage to justify your presence here.

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