In the Mid-east, democracy is not possible because democratic principles are not a part of the cultural history. Additionally, if a democratic system was instilled in almost any Mid-eastern state, those who would gain power would be an even more frightening lot than we have now.
In Egypt, if true, free elections were held, I don’t think America would be happy with the results. Hosni Mubarak, a decent leader who has much to desire, is struggling with Islamist extremists. If he doesn’t rig the elections, the Islamists (associated with that piece of sh** Ayman al-Zawahiri) will gain parliamentary and executive power in Egypt—a situation that would plunge the region in to chaos. Allow me to explain.
The majority of Egypt’s population is both poor and uneducated. And by poor, I don’t mean minimum-wage-and-welfare-checks poor. Poor in the Mid-east is a horrible, horrible situation. The Islamists, who are well-funded, bring food, clothing, and often shelter to these people. As the saying goes, you are loyal to the hand that feeds you. When election-time comes, who do you think will get the poor Egyptian’s vote? The educated class would be able to discern the danger but the majority would not.
I truly wish there was a replacement for Mubarak but the democratic alternative to him is not going to be a progressive, 21st century leader. He would be associated with al-Zawahiri and try to instill a Saudi/Taliban-type government in Egypt.
As far as I am aware, all the Arab/Muslim countries are in a similar situation where the masses are poor and uneducated, the political opposition is staunchly conservative, and the Islamist parties have the strongest support on the ground.
I don’t believe it is possible for Jeffersonian Democracy to work in the Mid-east considering the cultural history and the current situation. If we replace Saddam with a democratic system, the party that would dominate the new government would be the Islamist party. If we do not pursue democracy we would be seen as hypocrites. If we pursue democracy we will end up with a big stinking mess that might prove the weakness of democracy—that anyone can vote and anyone can win.