Thursday, November 11, 2004


Democracy is for our enemies

I would like to take Bush at his word when he says "freedom is on the march". It would be easier to do so if he showed as much enthusiasm for democracy on the part of our allies as he does on the part of our enemies.

The prime example is Kuwait, which the world liberated from the Iraqis at the cost of significant numbers of lives and other resources. You would think the Kuwaitis might pay the world back by creating a free society, but to quote from the most recent Freedom House report on Kuwait:

Freely elected representatives do not determine the policies of Kuwait's government. The royal family of Kuwait, which is a hereditary emirate, largely sets the government's policy agenda. The country's emir has overriding power in the political system, appointing the prime minister and cabinet.

Other key examples of allies with even worse human rights and political rights records than Kuwait include major staging areas for the "war on terror" including Uzbekistan and Qatar, not to mention Saudi Arabia, which receives the lowest scores possible for both Political Rights and Civil Liberties.

(By the way, I chose to use the information from Freedom House because its board, with figures such as James Woolsey and Jeane Kirkpatrick, can't be accused of having an anti-US political agenda.)

What's the message here? If you want to become a democracy, first become an enemy of the US, then we will invade you and turn you into a democracy, but if you're our buddy we'll leave you alone no matter what you do. Not only that, but we'll help you get rich in the meantime, no matter the cost to US taxpayers.

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