Democracy is a tough political format to defend. If you’re for it, then you want to spread the word and allow everybody to enjoy the benefits of freedom and the personal liberties derived from it. But, as I said it’s a hard format to defend. Witness Egypt.
Witness such stalwart advocates of Democracy as Donald Rumsfeld, who said when asked about the possibility that Iraq (after we’d shocked and awed them into a state approaching the Neolithic) could elect a fundamentalist Islamic government said: “an Iranian-type government with a few clerics running everything … isn’t going to happen.”
Do you see the hypocrisy of the statement?
If we take down a regime once allied with us, and its people are predominantly of a faith antagonistic to our own values concerning religious, racial, gender and societal liberties defined as freedoms, can we intervene (or is it interfere) in their internal political decisions and direction because we don’t like the way they’ll handle their own business? Does our assistance in the establishment of another nation’s “democracy” mean we can disestablish that nation’s desire for the right to choose a form of government repugnant to our national psyche? Are we still champions of democracy and all we believe it to be if we don’t like the fact others choose to live in a manner we don’t approve of?
I don’t know. But I do believe if you espouse an ideal on Monday you shouldn’t have a newer, more self-serving definition delivered on Friday when your prior stance is in jeopardy. Are we there to free the people to do as they see fit for themselves; or are we there to paternalistically demand compliance with a rule book we wrote and as such proclaim: “shut-up Father knows best” and leave it at that?
The issue devolves as does peaceful protest in the Arab corner of the world. The Iraqis don’t want us there, but they do want our money. The Egyptians were bolstered since Gamal Abdel Nasser (a communist sympathizer) was succeeded by Anwar Sadat, a decidedly more pro-west leader who proved willing to negotiate with Israel; an unpopular position. When Hosni Mubarek took over after Sadat’s assassination, the money continued flowing into the coffers controlled by a self-serving secularist at odds with his growing fundamentalist Islamic population.
Enter the Arab Spring, a season noted for its hope-filled energy with the young and politically active seeking the overthrow and prosecution of what it saw as a corrupt regime. America under Obama, sat by and allowed the matter to play out, all the while saying the will of the people should be followed. When Mubarek went down and ultimately Mohammed Morsi, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, was elected, the money was diverted to Morsi’s government even though he’s supports the destruction of Israel. America continues to support financially and idealistically the causes of antagonistically voluble devotees espousing the destruction of America’s influence in the region.
There’s no believable census concerning the secularist vote versus the fundamentalist populace seeking ascendance. And there is NO loyal opposition to be derived from a people following a political agenda enforced by what they perceive to be a fundamentalist religious godhead who engraved his teachings in stone and left it closed to moderation. In this case, there will be no mediation.
So, what does America do? Does she accept the democratically elected and chosen fundamentalist government selected by a majority of people casting votes? Or, does America continue to contribute to a governing body selected in opposition to her ideals while sending funds to the government’s opponents in hopes of destabilizing it?
One accepts and is a proponent of the true ideal of democracy; the other is a statement of political cynicism practicality exercised on a global level.
Until the regional politics stabilizes America should grab the checkbook, step back and away from the controversy and let the United Nations (without American participation because of a possible conflict of interests) oversee and police the matter. That’s what the United Nations is supposed to do.
America doesn’t need to be financing regimes antagonistic and violently opposed to her safety and interests.
Thanks for listening.