Robert McFarlane, a National Security Advisor under Reagan, explains the war in Iraq:
In 2003, it was arguably democracy promotion, rather than the threat of weapons of mass destruction, which triggered the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Nice. Since, in the year 2003, the invasion or Iraq was in fact predicated on the threat of weapons of mass destruction — there are no ifs, ands, or buts around this justification, I’m afraid — McFarlane just adds the word “arguably” to fit the long-reigning ex post facto casus belli of “democracy promotion” into a context into which it simply does not belong. Justifying the war on pro-democracy grounds was a rationale that gained in strength with each discovery of a hiding place in which WMD were not hidden. This is not something that’s controversial; it was prevailing conventional wisdom. Trying to change it through canny means is just an attempt to reclaim historical memory.
Probably not the best time for an ousted president to make this proposal:
Ghana’s outgoing leader John Kufuor has called for presidential terms to be extended from four years to five.
In his last state of the nation address to parliament, President Kufuor said the extra year would give leaders time to complete vital industrial projects.
Granted, Kufuor’s stepping down after an extremely tight and contentious election is an admirably democratic thing to do, and he doesn’t appear to be forcing his suggestion onto anyone. But if he was serious, maybe he should have thought to suggest longer terms before he was voted out of office.
(image of President Kufuor from flickr user World Economic Forum under a Creative Commons license)