The Hashemite Restoration – Iraqi Style

David Pryce-Jones has an interesting article on replacing Saddam with a Hashemite king. It’s actually an idea with a considerable amount of merit to it.

Despite the bad reputation that surrounds monarchy, a constitutional monarchy is actually quite a bit safer for the rest of the world than would be a democracy for a formerly authoritarian state. By having one branch of government that stands aloof from the people, the transition to real democracy can happen that much easier. If a hardline fundamentalist group takes power, the King can dissolve the government or appoint moderates to check the fundamentalists.

Americans tend to see democracy as something that works like a magic formula wherever it is tried. Unfortunately, that simply isn’t true. Democracy is something that can only stand in nation with a highly developed civil society, multiple interest groups, and substantial safeguards to the usurpation of political power. Attempts to create democracy without this critical bedrock is impossible, and those states will rapidly fall into tyranny.

As I’ve said before regarding Musharraf, there are times when power is best vested in someone who can manage the democratic transition more effectively than in the hands of people who have only known authoritarianism. If we are to build a more democratic Middle East, we must first ensure that the foundations are strong, else we return back to the anarchy that now consumes that volitile region of the world.

One thought on “The Hashemite Restoration – Iraqi Style

  1. I cannot find the information, but if memory serves, this was briefly discussed in the lead up to the First Gulf War, and rejected as unaaceptable to pretty much everyone in Iraq.

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