In general I support President Bush when he articulates the values of liberty and democracy as a path to world peaceThere is a major caveat.
A democracy requires that there be guarantees for free speech,free press,womens rights,transparency in government,the rule of law,freedom of religion and other such modalities.When they are absent ,or if they are not inculcated within the body politic, a free election is only the road to the rule of extremists and fundamentalists.Certainly when the governing group artificially seperates into a military and political wing which threatens the security and independence of the the state, you wind up with Hamas, and Hezbollah.Not that a fledgling democracy requires 100% attainment of those goals, howevever that must be the path that the people and governmental institutions are headed for.
Both Algeria and Turkey have in the past worked successfully to prevent Islamist takeover of their governments.
Elections have consequences! The election of Omert and Peretz illustrates the point.Daily,weekly and monthly rocket attacks on Israel with minimal and ineffective responses have sent the message of weakness to the bad guys.As late as two days ago the leadership ,while divided ,has not given up on "convergence".
As late as two weeks ago the U.S. warned Lebanon regarding the consequences of Hezbollah activity on the border.Beirut will now pay the price,unless and until they clean out the borderarea.
In his op-ed in the WSJ on Tues 7/11/06 ,entitled "In defense of disengagement"Bret Stephenswrites that Israel's northern border "has been relatively quiet,depite Hezbollah and its thousands of medium-range missiles".Stephens,former Jerusalem Post editor,and now on the editorial board of the Journal,is usually a sophisticated analyst.It only proves the old saying "there are no experts on the future.only on the past".