¿Puede la democracia derrotar al terrorismo?

La administración Bush dio tres razones para emprender la guerra contra Iraq. Sólo una de ellas sigue teniendo algo de credibilidad: la necesidad de transformar al Medio Oriente a través de la democratización y, de ese modo, disminuir el apoyo a los terroristas. ¿Pero acaso tiene este argumento más sustento en la realidad que las alegaciones previas de esa administración sobre la amenaza "inminente" de las armas de destrucción masiva o el supuesto apoyo de Saddam Hussein a al-Qaeda?

Ahora que los inspectores han concluido después de la invasión que no existieron armas de destrucción masiva y que las agencias de inteligencia se han convencido de que el efecto neto de la guerra contra Iraq ha sido estimular el reclutamiento de al-Qaeda a través del mundo islámico, la administración Bush comprensiblemente resalta el motivo de la democratización. En efecto, éste se ha convertido en el tema dominante de su segundo mandato. Como dijo la Secretaria de Estado, Condoleza Rice, en un discurso reciente en el Cairo, "la libertad y la democracia son las únicas ideas suficientemente poderosas para superar el odio, la división y la violencia".

Los suspicaces ven esto como un mero argumento de conveniencia, uno que ha cobrado importancia sólo porque las otras dos razones para la guerra se derrumbaron. Más importante aún, los escépticos también dudan de la validez del argumento de la administración que relaciona a la democracia con la disminución del terrorismo. Después de todo, ciudadanos británicos, en una de las democracias más antiguas del mundo, llevaron a cabo los recientes ataques terroristas en Londres. De igual manera, un ciudadano estadounidense realizó el peor ataque terrorista en los Estados Unidos antes del 11 de septiembre de 2001.

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