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The History of Democracy from the Middle East to Western Civilizations is a unique text laying out the broad outline of the History of Democracy.  The book is based on the historical works of leading American and foreign historians and is written in a straightforward, readable way summarizing the main themes of history.  This permits the reader of the news media to make in depth sense out of the jumble of headlines and articles pouring out of the daily press and television coverage.


            This book permits the reader to digest broad sections of history in separate coherent bites including an overview of history beginning with Mesopotamia (Ancient Iraq) and Egypt, through Greece, the Roman Empire, Middle Ages, England and Modern Europe to American efforts to impose Democracy on the Modern Middle East.  Bite sized chapters of the book include not only a comprehensive overview, but also separate chapters on the Democratic History of America, the Development of Democracy in Russia, Democracy in Muslim Countries and what history has taught us about Democracy.


This book becomes available at a particularly opportune time in the course of our national debate over Iraq.  President Bush has been struggling to convince the American electorate that our principal goal in the Middle East is to establish a flourishing democracy there since Bush’s failure to locate weapons of mass destruction, the original justification for the war.  The debate has become shrill, but not all the participants in the debate, including foreign dictators, agree as to what democracy means, particularly in the Middle East which has been ruled for centuries by tribal leaders. 


This book has been carefully researched and documented and can serve not only as a source for thoughtful readers following the national debate over democracy, but also for those seeking to increase their general knowledge.

             On January 20, 2005 on the Capitol steps, the newly re-elected President George W. Bush delivered his second inaugural address to a large audience of supporters, detractors and world press.  The speech laid out his world vision for the next four years.  With the war still raging in Iraq and the first of a series of elections scheduled there 10 days later, President Bush spoke in sweeping terms about the force of events and stated:  “The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands.  The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world….every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker…we have proclaimed the imperative of self government because no one is fit to be a master and no one deserves to be a slave.  Advancing these ideals…is the urgent requirement of our nation’s security, and the calling of our time…So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.”


            The President proclaimed a broad definition of freedom which finds its moral basis in not only the Sermon on the Mount, but as well in the Jewish precepts of the Sinai and the words of the Koran.  Further said Bush, in America’s ideal of freedom, citizens find the dignity and security of economic independence instead of laboring on the edge of subsistence.  “We have confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom because it is the permanent hope of mankind.”


            The Bush speech vowing to end tyranny around the world, set off a scramble within the administration to explain what the President meant.[1]  The newly declared goal they said did not portend dramatic changes in US foreign policy.  According to State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, we will see the United States support democratic forces in various countries.  We will not abandon our friends.  However the US has long raised objections to human rights violations in China.  We applaud municipal elections in Saudi Arabia as an advance of democracy.  The US has maintained strong ties with countries whose policies we openly criticize, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.  We may not necessarily raise principles of freedom and democracy with foreign leaders in a public way.


            As expected America’s drive to firmly plant democracy in the Middle East beginning with the elections scheduled for January 30, 2005 ran into fierce opposition from terrorists, most notably Abu Musab-a-Zarqawi, the recently assassinated Jordanian- born al-Qaida chief in Iraq.  On January 23, 2005 he declared war on democracy in an audio recording posted on the Web as his terrorist associates attacked polling stations and other targets aimed at disrupting the then upcoming election.[2]  This election, since conducted successfully, permitted Iraqi voters to choose a 275 seat National Assembly and provincial councils in 18 provinces.  Al-Zarqawi stated:  “We have declared a fierce war on this evil principle of democracy and those who follow this wrong ideology.”  The speaker railed against democracy for supplanting the rule of God with the rule of man and the majority and that this was based on un-Islamic belief such as freedom of expression and separation of church and state.


            The President’s speech has raised more questions than it has answered as to America’s foreign policy intentions, including its financial and military capability to carry out its broad aims.  The President has raised fundamental issues about our ideals, the meaning of liberty, freedom and democracy and America’s long and short-term goals and responsibilities to the world.  To find meaningful definitions of these idea

The author, Harold E. Rogers, Jr., earned both history (1952) and law (1955) degrees at Stanford University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. Following military service in Italy as a first lieutenant in the Army JAGC, Mr. Rogers organized a law firm in San Francisco specializing in public finance and litigation.  He thereafter founded regional finance practices for two nationally recognized law firms.  In the meantime he continued his career in writing which he had begun with a publication in the Stanford Law Review.  This was followed by articles published on military law and a wide variety of  articles and several books including two volumes on California water history.  He also wrote articles on law supporting development in China, an evaluation of the Gorbachev revolution in Russia and a variety of articles and interviews published in Russia.  Mr. Rogers was a lecturer at the Stanford Law and Business schools where he developed and delivered a semester course entitled “Problems of Doing Business in Russia and the CIS.”  He has been a member of San Francisco Trade delegations to both China and Russia.  He learned something of the practical side of American politics in supporting the election campaigns of President Jimmy Carter.  Carter appointed Mr. Rogers chairman of the Commission on the Review of the Federal Impact Aid Program.




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