Americans want freedom and democracy for whom?
First let us return to what most people mean when they say freedom. Do they mean freedom burn a flag in protest or in jest? Do they mean the "freedom" to not pay taxes? Or do they mean Freedom to abuse women and children, even if their religion says it is ok. Do they mean the "freedom" to drive drunk, take whatever substances into their bodies, drive at any speed, shoot off your gun, torture animals, convince minors to have "consensual" sex, gamble, or pay for the services of a prostitute? How about the simple freedom to stay on a piece of land, grow crops, fish for food, or even just die without owing the government for doing it? Is this the meaning of "freedom" that has the patriots singing the praises of the current war and foreign policy?
No, I suspect what the modern American has come to understand the meaning of "freedom" is closer to the meaning of "free market". The rights to pay too much, get paid too little, be in debt, and share your house, your car, and your stuff with banks and credit agencies. They mean right to carry a gun but not to use it. They refer to the right to travel anywhere they want to, just not the time and the money to do it. They refer to the freedom to be unrestricted by religious influence on the government. (That is of course unless you want to buy a 5th on Sunday, have a spouse of the same sex, or visit your local government office on Christmas day.) No the "freedom" of today is not what our founding fathers meant. It is a marketing slogan that convinces less enlightened to support sending their sons and now daughters off to foreign lands to risk their lives "spreading it". Remember "Operation Iraqis Freedom" or "Operation Enduring Freedom"?
The US doesn’t want Iraq or any other nation to "be free". They don’t want to compete with their citizens in the job market. They don’t want them to make decisions about foreign policy that is unfavorable to US interests. They don’t want them making inventions that might lead to the weakening of the US economical superiority.
How do I know that Americans don’t want to spread the joy of freedom around the world? It is easy, just listen to them when they complain. "NAFTA has ruined America." "You can’t call tech support and talk to an American." "Immigrants are ruining our country." "We ought to just bomb them all." " You can’t buy anything that isn’t made in China these days."
Ok let’s translate that. People that make these statements and believe these philosophies can not possibly want free market to spread. The repression of people also hinders cultural growth. NAFTA, outsourcing, and immigrants are all sources of labor. If you think the Indians, Chinese, Japanese, and South Americans are already crowding the global labor force and dragging down the price of labor, try adding an additional 250 million people from the Middle East to that pool. Iraq alone would add in the area of 10 million new job seekers in a place where a good wage paid by government contractors amounts to the equivalent of $4 to $5 a day. Boy if you take the cheap labor and the ready supply of energy right there, a major auto maker would be crazy not to consider moving operations to the new "free Iraq". The next toy maker, pet food producers, and electronics engineers might be from our newly liberated state. As the troops return from over seas after the ehhm, long fought war. Everybody who didn’t want to live free have been killed or captured. When the troops get home they find a high percentage of unemployment and dismal wage compensation. In Iraq, they are about to become the worlds most quickest expanding economy, their factories are billowing out hydrocarbons, and their population is en route to financial dependence. As their technology level grows so will their desire for power. Most nations value the possession of a nuclear weapon as the Holy Grail of power. See India and Pakistan as examples.
The concept of "spreading democracy" to a culture that harbors resentment for you is, well, dangerous. Democracy simple means the will of the majority is conducted. What if the will of the majority of the newly freed Iraqis was to kill all of the Sunnis? Hey that is democracy. It is also called genocide. What if that new democracy voted to buy nuclear weapons and then turn them on their infidel liberators, "god willing"? These are all options of democracy. A nation where one government dictates who can win the elections is called a "puppet government". This is what Saddam Hussein was to the US in the beginning. It is neither free nor democratic. It is also ripe for corruption and objected by resentment.
In summary average "patriotic", right wing, slogan buying, aggressive, conservative members of the US culture do not want foreigners "stealing" our jobs, producing low quality goods, and/ or competing with us globally. Just can’t wait to see MEFTA (Middle Eastern Free Trade Agreement). Even more liberal minded people don’t want another industrial country adding all of the environmental and human rights problem created by unbridled budding free market societies. These same people don’t want democracy in a culture that may one day become our enemy. There is no guarantee that the majority wouldn’t stand against us in a war.
Me, I have some of the same complaints about job market forces and environmental issues. However, I have a more one-world view on all of these issues. The key to solving many of the problems is to stop the aggressive behavior and start a policy of open and honest diplomacy. I have never seen the benefit of destroying a country back into 3rd world infrastructure with respect to making it a free market. Nor have I ever seen the logic of forcing freedom on a culture that hasn’t the will or the strength to take it for themselves.
Added 9/13/07: a new pole came out from an organization known as "A Terror Free Tomorrow." CNN quoted many things on the pole the main one was that " Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf -- a key U.S. ally -- is less popular in his own country than al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden". link to CNN is here http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/09/11/poll.pakistanis/index.html#cnnSTCText
Did I mention that Pakistan has nuclear weapons? Does the world really want these people to conduct a democratic Vote? The organizations website can be found here.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. - C. S. Lewis