The U.S. "Exporting" Democracy

On the misleading term "exporting democracy," which is used frequently by the American media and some think tanks, I have found an interesting related material written by Professor R.J. Rummel on his blog.

I have previously commented on this term from a Middle Eastern perspective in an earlier post pointing out how much this term is misleading and, in reality, makes no sense. It is actually used to transmit a hidden implication targeting the U.S. administration's achievements and policies in this regard.

I will quote here the Rummel's post as an American view on this subject:

Not Imposed—Freedom’s a Right

By Professor R.J. Rummel

President Bush’s Inauguration speech has generated a lot of commentary, some excellent, some helpful, but on the average it is the predictable stuff from the liberal and left wing press squeezed into and sometimes overlapping with “news” on what those so-called “militants” are doing with their car bombings and murders of Iraqi civilians. By the way, have you noticed how this nice word “militants” for terrorists has been snuck into the major news these days. Even Fox has used the label. Another clever liberal-left conceptual victory.

Among the comments on Bush’s speech, he is accused of trying or wanting to “export” or “impose” democracy.” See, for example “The dangers of exporting democracy” by Eric Hobsbawn (link here), or “Folly in exporting ‘liberty’” by Michael Desch (link here).

Again, as I have said before (link here), this is a conceptual and even philosophical misunderstanding of Bush’s Forward Strategy of Freedom. He is not exporting (imposing) democracy, but enabling a people to throw off the chains that bind them. Where tyrants rule, people live in fear with virtually no human rights. By international law and multilateral treaties, people should be free. When they are not, Bush intends to help them achieve the freedom that is their right, as he has already been doing.

Bush has made this clear (link here): “There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom . . . . From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. Across the generations, we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation's security, and the calling of our time.”

However, some of those who use the term “export democracy” know what they are doing. They are opposed to Bush’s policy and want it to appear that he is imposing on a people something alien, something questionable within their moral system—something like trying to export Bibles to the Middle East.

But, a bible is not a people’s right by virtue of being human. Freedom is. No one should live in fear. No one should be denied the freedom of speech, religion, and organization. No one deserves to be ruled by bloody thugs that have imprisoned their whole nation in one gigantic, barbed wire surrounded concentration camp (If you think I exaggerate, take a close look at North Korea).

To say such people have a right to freedom is not my opinion. This is, as I say, a matter of international law, conventions, and treaties. So has spoken the United Nations. And so has spoken the overwhelming majority of nations.


Some recent related posts:

-The Realities of Promoting Democracy
-Bush, Americans and Spreading Democracy
-Rice, Foreign Policy and Promoting Freedom

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