I hate to pull out this one, but Hitler was democratically elected, as well. Just because a government was chosen by its people does not mean that it is legitimate. Hamas seeks the eradication of a state and its people; it is rightly shunned. Now, I'm by no means pro-Israel. The Palestinian people need to have their own contiguous, viable state, despite how dim that prospect looks at present.
>Assuming you are American
I am not, and you'll find no support for the current American legal system from me. I do, however, highly value the American Constitution and the values it represents. It saddens me that those values are not better defended at present.
What I take from your post is that you seem to think I am some neocon imperialist. I am not. I despise injustice wherever it occurs, and my sentiments are distinctly post-statist. That said, Western civilization faces an existential threat from an enemy who despises its very foundations, and it is our very pluralism that blinds us to this threat. Too often, too many commit the fallacy that damns cultural relativism: that we must be tolerant of the intolerant. To this, I say no! We cannot tolerate that which attacks the very ideals our society is based upon. If we truly believe the foundations of our society to be morally superior, then when must defend them. It falls to those who deny this claim to show how a society predicated on subjugation and inequity can be morally equivalent to one predicated upon liberty and equality.
I feel it necessary to further clarify that I do not defend the actions of any particular Western country wholesale, rather I defend the precepts upon which Western civilization is based. Were the religious fundamentalists (of any origin) content to keep to themselves, I would have no problem with that. The fact is, they aren't. For them, it is not enough that they follow their beliefs; others must follow them too. This brings them into direct conflict with us, and it's a conflict they started. If we wish to maintain or, better yet, improve our society, we must first defend it against those who would see it remade in their likeness.
Actually, it does.
One can't argue the Nazi's were illegitimate. They were legitimate (for a short time). One could argue they were evil and needed to be deposed by external force.
> This brings them into direct conflict with us, and it's a conflict they started.
They started it? That's cycle of violence rhetoric, and partly why you're getting pushback.
This argument is simply wrong. Those who engage in terrorist attacks against us do not do so because we invaded there lands, or any such thing. This is a dangerous fallacy. One of the most ridiculed statements of the Bush administration is actually the closest we've come to the truth: they hate us for our freedoms. Truly, they do. The islamic fundamentalists view western civilization not because of our military imperialism, but because of our cultural imperialism. They hate that our values and culture turn "good muslims" into crass, liberal swine.
Now, certainly there are those in the middle east who hate our interventionism, and with good reason. They have legitimate complaints. But they are not the ones blowing themselves up, nor are they the ones encouraging same. OBL didn't give a rat's ass about our military intervention in the middle east; he hated the liberalization and secularization of Arab countries. One of the worst lies told by the left (of which I proudly consider myself a member) is that terrorism is a response to our imperialism. It isn't. It's a response to our values.