Tuesday, April 21, 2009
United States of America: Spreading Democracy or Hypocrisy?
The United States, especially George W. Bush, and his neo-cons have the mantra that they are spreading democracy. That is how dreadful wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were justified. Now are they really spreading democracy, or it is all one big smoke screen to perpetuate hypocrisy for the self-interest of the leaders? Let us look at some allies of the US.
Egypt: Is Egypt a democracy? Hosni Mubarak has been president of Egypt for 28 years now. How many free and open elections did he hold to make Egypt a democracy?
Israel: The most recent face of Israel was Ehud Olmert. What is his claim to fame? Ordering the slaughter of countless innocent women and children in Lebanon and later Gaza. Does that make him a great democratic figure? While Israel is democratic for Israelis, for Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, it is anything but a democracy.
Saudi Arabia: Now is King Abdullah a champion of democracy? The guy whom Bush courted repeatedly, held hands, and kissed profusely on the cheeks. Far from it. Abdullah is a monarch. There is a lot of criticism (justified criticism) of the Taliban in the West, about how badly they treat women. But, at least you could see Afghani women on streets although in veils. Have you ever seen King Abdullah's wives? They remain strictly behind four walls of houses that their husbands or fathers provide.
I will tell you a story. I was in London, England and a good friend of mine was giving me a tour of the city. On that tour he took me on a street where I saw a lot of Mercedes and Rolls Royces. I asked what that was about. He told me the vehicles belonged to Saudi sheikhs. I asked what they were doing there. He said they own condos and apartments and then he made a shocking addition, "they come to London in search of escorts (prostitutes) sometimes."
I said "Why? They have multiple wives, do they not have escorts in Saudi Arabia?"
He said "No," and added, "they have made prostitution in Saudi Arabia illegal and if someone is caught prostituting, the person will be executed swiftly." Some democracy and just society.
Venezuela: Barack Obama shook hands with Hugo Chavez. Hell has broken loose. All the neo-cons are up in arms, including Newt Gingrich, Pat Buchanan, and many of their ilk. They say that it is un-American to shake hands with a "dictator" like Hugo Chavez who insulted the US. Now let us see. Chavez did call Bush an idiot. Hey Hugo, join the club of millions and millions of others in the world who have called him an idiot too, including the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at Bush. Some even call Bush a war criminal (Obama is finding it increasingly hard to ignore the demands of those who want Bush administration officials tried for war crimes, especially with recent revelations about the extent and depth torture under the Bush administration).
And of course, whatever Chavez's faults, he is democratically elected.
Okay, Chavez had in the past called Obama ignorant, but if Obama would have refused to shake hands with him for that reason, would he not have looked silly and childish? I think Obama showed a lot of class there.
So my American friends come off this nonsense of "spreading democracy" and do something about hypocrisy. Recommend this post