[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Ends don’t justify means

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[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Ends don’t justify means

While there is substantial merit to Josef Joffe’s article “Democracy spreads to Arab world” (March 19), by no means can he assert that U.S. President George W. Bush’s war on Iraq can be vindicated.
The author opined that the Iraq war had triggered the recent movements toward democracy in Palestine, Lebanon and even Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Is that so? In Palestine, it was the death of Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat that allowed the Palestinians to newly elect a leader with a pro-peace mentality.
In Lebanon, the democratic demonstrations that the Lebanese displayed were due to the assassination of the former prime minister, Rafik Hariri.
In the case of Saudi Arabia, its so-called “democratic elections” blatantly excluded women from voting, and the majority of the government seats were already filled with long-time bureaucrats.
Egypt has also promised to push for freer elections, yet the opposition party does not dare to compete against the Egyptian patriarchal ruler for fear of retaliation.
In all, the link between the U.S.-led Iraq war and the democratic movements now taking place is simply obscure.
It is ridiculous, if not comical, to reason that America’s war on Iraq should be vindicated just for the fact that the Iraqis participated in a free election.
We should look back and recount the millions of innocent Iraqi deaths that followed America’s invasion, and the gruesome pictures of Iraqi prisoners being tortured by soldiers wearing American uniforms.
Mr. Bush’s call for democracy is indeed commendable, and his efforts should be highly appreciated.
Yet his past actions that have brought about huge damage to Iraq should never be forgotten, or vindicated.

by Chung Yoo-jin
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