Sunday, June 7, 2009

US Promoting Democracy in the Middle East? I Don't Think So.

I posted the following comment on Kevin Drum's blog in response to this post on Obama and democracy:

No US president can speak of "promoting democracy" in the Middle East as long as we are allied with and propping up dictators across the region, expanding a war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, failing to pay reparations to Iraq, and supporting Israel's denial of Palestinian refugees the right of return. Our overall effect in the region is utterly anti-democratic. You can't claim to promote democracy with one hand while you're holding people down and destroying societies with the other hand. Until the US ceases ALL its imperialist policies in the Middle East, it will be promoting tyranny and destruction there, not democracy. As I argued here, while Obama may be prettifying the face of US imperialism, he is preserving its core features, and the result is going to be more of the same for the Middle East (see also here). Finally, it's absurd for a US president to lecture the rest of the world about having an adequate civil society after the last eight years. It's the rest of the world that should be lecturing us.

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