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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Freedom Trumps Democracy, Part Two

"The U.S. has never tried so hard and failed so utterly to make and keep friends in the Third World. As if this were not bad enough,in the current year [1979] the United States has suffered two other major blows--in Iran and Nicaragua--of large and strategic significance. In each country, the Carter administration not only failed to prevent the undesired outcome, it actively collaborated in the replacement of moderate autocrats friendly to American interests with less friendly autocrats of extremist persuasion. Both these small nations were led by men who had not been selected by free elections, who recognized no duty to submit themselves to searching tests of popular acceptablity. The Shah and Somoza were not only anti-Communist, they were positively friendly to the U.S., sending their sons and others to be educated in our universities, voting with us in the United Nations, and regularly supporting American interests and positions, even when these entailed personal and political cost. . . . In each of these countries [China, Cuba, Vietnam, Angola], the American effort to impose liberalization and democritization on a government confronted with violent internal opposition not only failed, but actually assisted the coming to power of new regimes in which ordinary people enjoy fewer freedoms and less personal security than under the previous autocracy--regimes, moreover, hostile to American interests and policies. . . .As the situation worsens, the President assures the world that the U.S. desires only that the "people choose their own form of government;" he blocks delivery of all arms to the government and undertakes negotiations to establish a "broadly based" coalition headed by a "moderate" critic of the regime who, once elevated, will move quickly to seek a "political" settlement to the conflict. . . .For these reasons and more, a posture of continuous self abasement and apology vis-a-vis the Third World is neither morally necessary nor politically appropriate."
Jeane Kirkpatrick
"Dictatorships and Double Standards"

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