It is hard not to be tantalized by the notion that with one hard blow in Iraq the United States could unleash a tidal wave of democracy in a region long gripped by intransigent autocracy. But although the United States can certainly oust Saddam Hussein and install a less repressive regime, Iraqi democracy would not be soon forthcoming.
Discussants debate the impact of the internet revolution in China on the future development of politics and bureaucracy.
It is commonly believed that privatization and economic modernization lead, if not directly then at least indirectly, to democratization. China, however, illustrates the limits of such wisdom.
The Bush administration's plan for post-invasion Iraq is a blueprint for occupation but not for political reconstruction. Unless the profound difference between occupation and reconstruction is recognized early on, the U.S. will fail to create a stable Iraq, let alone one that serves as a model for other countries. Chaos there will mean the continued threat of terrorism and regional instability.