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The truths they don't want you to read....

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Democracy in the middle/near east

The US doesn't have a very good record in backing democracy in the arabic middle-east. In fact, I'd go further and say that their record is to give support to those who flaunt democracy...

  • Al Saud (vastly extended) family in Saudi Arabia
  • The Shah of Iran
  • Saddam Hussein (until he got a mind of his own)
  • and now, President Musharraf of Pakistan.

Dictators everyone, and all backed financially and militarily by the US, despite the views of the public they were supposed to represent.

The one good sign is the Condoleeza Rice seems to have put down a marker, and demanding free and fair elections in January.

The down side is that the main opposition - Benazir Bhutto - has a less than clean history, and the US history of replacing one puppet with another is a recipe for things getting worse, rather than better, as their interventions in South America have repeatedly proven.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The US doesn't have a very good record in backing democracy in the arabic middle-east.

Untrue. The US has a stellar record of backing democracy in the Middle East: her strongest and oldest ally in the region, Israel, is a vibrant democracy, and the only truly free state in the entire Mideast, and the US has backed her faithfully for decades.

The US has also 'backed' emergent democratic movements whenever they've arisen (rarely), in places such as Lebanon.

What you seem to be saying is that the US is somehow at fault for engaging with Middle Eastern regimes 'as they are'--but then, EVERY nation does so.

And when the US has genuinely attempted--just once--to overthrow a true tyrant and create a democracy ex nihilo, it gets pilloried by you and others.

So, basically, the US cannot win: if it supports Israel, that elicits cries of 'bias'; if it supports other regimes that happen to be unfree (as all the world does routinely) the US is 'betraying her ideals'. And if--God help us--the US actually takes action to create a democracy, it gets--you guessed it--slammed for the effort as well.