Saturday, November 10, 2007

I don't dispute that at times the US has been inconsistent in its pursuit of democracy. Sometimes other priorities - like fighting Al Qaeda - have been pursued at the expense of democracy promotion. This has lead some critics to argue that the entire policy is little more than a sham within which the US cloaks its geopolitical interests: while the US criticizes its enemies for their anti-democratic practices, it turns a blind eye to similar practices perpetrated by its allies. I think two recent developments prove this to be false:

  • The condemnation of steps taken by Pakistan's president Musharaff to solidify his (undemocratic) position.

  • The condemnation of steps by Georgian president Saakshvilli to suppress opposition movements.
In both cases you havea country allied with the US, lead by a president extremely sympathetic to America. Should the president in question (Saakashvilli, Musharaff) be removed, it is unclear whether the subsequent leader would take a similarly strong pro-US position. In spite of this, the opposition of the US to anti-democratic measures taken by said presidents should be fairly convincing evidence that the US really does take democracy promotion seriously.


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