Willful blindness and the WDR

J-Pod ineptly and hysterically defends the World Democratic Revolution on NRO:

Despite being “disturbingly Leftist,” “shrill and uninformed,” and all sorts of generally awful things that place me entirely beyond the pale, I will manage to climb out of my hole of invincible ignorance to crawl next to the self-appointed Diogenes of Democracy, Andy McCarthy, and say that he has cast his lantern’s light upon the key question of our time. Can a Muslim nation ever be a functioning democracy? Andy offers the indictment. But he cannot secure a conviction, because he does not have sufficient evidence. The “democracy project” has not even had five years yet, and it is already declared a monstrous failure because in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, monstrous things are still going on and the governments include monstrous people in them.

No, those failures, (Podhoretz leaves out the Palestinian election of Hamas), are conclusive because they sustain the prediction of failure made by those of us who are more historically astute than the NROniks, whose memory only goes back to the Immaculate Election of Bush the Younger.

One would imagine that before even beginning to offer speculations on the likely fate of democracy in the Dar al-Islam, one would consider how it has fared in three Muslim democracies, Turkey, Indonesia and Algeria. Indonesia is the only country where democracy has not been a complete failure, although that is largely due to the vestiges of Suharto’s autocratic rule which ended in 1998. Turkey’s democracy is kept strictly penned and is “guided” by the military, which has mounted three coups in 1960, 1971 and 1980 to overturn democratically elected governments.

In Algeria, meanwhile, the military intervened in 1992 when it became clear that the radical Islamic party was going to win the parliamentary elections and sparked a murderous civil war that lasted ten years and will likely start up again should the military relax its hold on the country.

Thus, the failure of democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan should come as a surprise to no one. The fact that it could surprise anyone is merely testimony to the historical ignorance that pervades the blogosphere and the commentariat.

UPDATE: McCarthy’s devastating bitch slap which inspired Podhoretz’s incompetent post is worth reading too:

The basic thing you and those who agree with you insist on as an article of faith — namely, that “of course terrorism and democracy are irreconcilable” — is demonstrably wrong. Whether you like it or not, terrorists have great popular support in Lebanon. It may not be majority popular support, but it is at least substantial popular support. The same is true in the other “young democracies” in the Middle East. As long as the administration continues to confound popular elections with democracy — which is exactly what it is doing, whether you admit it or not — we are going to see this.

The gross irresponsibility here is staggering.

I don’t know why NRO or anyone else publishes Podhoretz on politics. He’s fine when it comes to movies, and he would do well to limit his public commentary to them.