So Much for America’s Belief in Democracy

by James Glaser
February 20, 2006

The Washington Post's Glen Kessler writes, "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asked Congress yesterday [Wednesday, February 15, 2006] to provide $75 million in emergency funding to step up pressure on the Iranian government, including expanding radio and television broadcasts into Iran and promoting internal opposition to the rule of religious leaders."

Kessler goes on with this quotation of Secretary Rice, "The Unites States will actively confront the policies of this Iranian regime, and at the same time we are going to support the aspirations of the Iranian people for freedom in their own country." It almost makes one forget that Iran just had a DEMOCRATIC ELECTION, where the people of Iran chose a new government. Of course that new government was not the government that Washington wanted, so we now feel that it is our right to subvert that government by pumping American tax dollars into opposition parties.

Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) wanted us to spend $100 million, and said that this is "Absolutely the right move at this point in time." I think Senator Brownback would have disagreed with these words by Abraham Lincoln, "That this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth." What right do we Americans have to subvert the chosen government of another sovereign nation? Why can't other nations have their governments be, of the people, by the people, and for the people?

On Sunday the Times of London had this headline, "US Holds Secret Talks to Weaken Hamas." You see, it happened in Palestine too. Democratic elections were held, but the Bush administration's choice lost there also. So now our government, the Israeli government, and the Palestinian party Fatah, that lost the election are having secret talks trying to figure out how they can subvert the new DEMOCRATICALLY elect government led by the Hamas Party. It is reported that Fatah lost the election because it was so corrupt, and that party officials have been stealing money donated to the Palestinian people for decades.

How do you think Americans would feel if they found out that lets say, NBC News was funded by Saudi Arabia, and that the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal were funded by that same country in order to change the government we have in Washington? Would we say that is undemocratic? Would we be stomping mad? I think so, and I think the people in Iran and people all over the Middle East will feel the same about our meddling in their affairs.

All you have to do is think back to when there were stories about the Clinton campaign taking money from Chinese businessmen, and how fast that money was returned as soon as it was made public. Americans felt that was wrong and demanded that sort of funding be stopped. Iranians will feel the same. Iran had a democratic election, and the people voted their government in, just like Iraq and Palestine voted for theirs.

Yes in every democratic election in the Middle East Washington's choice lost. That was not the fault of democracy, but it could have been the fault of the Bush administration foreign policy, and George Bush's war in Iraq. People in the Middle East do not appreciate that we kill and maim their people by the tens of thousands, by now, maybe the hundreds of thousands, and therefore they are not going to vote the way we want them to.

In the Middle East, Washington, actually the whole United States has become the enemy and as the saying goes, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." That is why the people of the Middle East vote in the people who oppose us, and our continued support for those voted out of office will only make things worse.

Democracy has given the radical elements in the Middle East the tool they have always needed to take power. No longer will Washington "own" governments in the Middle East... at least not in countries to which we have brought Democracy.

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