Monday, June 18, 2007

Catch 22

The US has been embroiled in a nasty catch 22.


We told the Palestinian Authority “Hold direct elections”.  They did.  They elected Hamas to leadership.


We then told them “you elected the wrong guys” and cut off aid.


This is hypocrisy in action.  Why?


Well, if we’re committed to “democracy now”, then we have to be willing to accept the consequences.  We can’t, out of one side of our mouths, say “democracy now for all” and out of the other say “you elected the wrong guy” and cut off support.  A democratically elected government—assuming the election process is fair and open—is a democratically elected government whether we like that government or not.  Period.  It’s hypocritical to say that it’s arrogant to say some people “aren’t ready” for democracy, while at the same time say that the government they elected was the wrong government.  It’s no different from installing a puppet government to rule a nation.  On the one hand, you had select a military ruler to take over, on the other you rig an election to ensure the “right guy” is elected.


And if you have a hypocritical foreign policy, then you’re going to have credibility problems and trouble winning hearts and minds.  Wonder why the US government has a bad image overseas?  Because for the last several years our government has said one thing and done another.  If you’re going to be all for the status quo, the SAY you’re all for the status quo and don’t do things to rock the boat.  If you’re all for democracy now, then work for democracy now and support even the governments that are elected that you don’t like.  Don’t go supporting tin pot dictators simply because you’re scared about the government that may take over in Pakistan when he’s gone.  Oops, did I mention Pakistan directly?  I guess I meant to do that.


Of course, on the other hand you can be honest about what the foreign policy really is.  “We’re going to remake the world in the image we want it to be.  Some dictatorships are ok.  Some dictatorships are not ok.  Some military intervention is ok.  Some is not.  It depends on what we feel is right, because we are the law.”


This is the world of a single superpower.  Imperial rule.  Straight and simple.  What the empire says is what the empire does.


Oh that change is coming in the winds…  and coming soon.



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