Easy answers to unnecessary questions *

Daniel Gelernter asks:

Bush put it this way in his second Inaugural Address: The U.S. must “support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in the world.” But hasn’t the U.S. always been anti-tyranny and pro-democracy? [Italics in original.]

Sadly, No! We’ll offer this to get you started, and throw in this old classic:

President Reagan: President Mobutu and I have just had a warm and useful discussion. And I am pleased to have been able to meet again with President Mobutu, who’s been a faithful friend to the United States for some 20 years. The President and I took this opportunity to review the state of U.S.-Zairian relations, and we found a large area of agreement on the major points we discussed.

Feel free to add your own in the comments.

Shorter version also available from busy, busy, busy.

* Easy answers to unnecessary questions is a registered trademark of The Poor Man Institute for Freedom and Democracy and a Pony.


Comments: 14


But hasn’t the U.S. always been anti-tyranny and pro-democracy? [Italics in original.]

Excuse me for just a minute.


Okay. There. Now I feel better.

A short list of countries where we’ve helped in the overthrow of elected leaders or propped up dictators, to be composed off the top of my head and in under thirty seconds (a chance to show off my mad typing skils šŸ˜‰ Okay, go!

El Salvador

I suppose our actions in Angola don’t count because the Soviets did a good job of blocking that old shitsmear Kissinger’s warmongering there. But still, A for effort, right?

Why, oh why do people persist in their crazy little fantasy that we have some grand interest in “strengthening democracy around the world”? Very few of our actions in countries where you could argue that democracy actually needed strengthening do anything to support that position.

Oh, and the best thing of all about our grand, democratic interventions….look at all the countries on that list above (and I’ve barely scratched the surface – I left out things like Uruguay because just training torture squads there doesn’t meet the criteria I set for the list) – look at those countries: are ANY of them models of democracy today? Would you even really want to live in any of them?

It’s like we have the anti-Midas touch in world affairs – everything we touch turns to shit. This whole topic is one I’m particularly vehement about – we really need to stop doing stuff like this.


(1) “Democracy” is just an ideological term for “populist plutocracy”, i.e. rule by the rich in which an appearance of consent is obtained by crowd pleasing PR.(2) Josh Marshall appears to me to be a shill for the Dems, who should be judged by the doings of George Soros, Madeleine Albright, etc. The contrast between the parties is as delusory as that between the tough cop and the con cop in manipulating an arrestee.Sorry, I just came in.


The contrast between the parties is as delusory as that between the tough cop and the con cop in manipulating an arrestee.

That’s how we ended up with Bush in the first place. Nader convinced lotsa people that there wasn’t any different between Bush and Gore. How tragically wrong he was.


It’s not a democracy, it’s a republic.


Good point Brad, but there was another part to Nader’s message, namely that he, Nader, was different to BushGore. The problem there being that if Nader had had as much money behind him for media buying as BushGore did, it would have demanded in return that he obliterate the difference. None of this is any different here in brit land. I suppose we will have to wait until the dollar collapses, and Israel re-aligns with Russia and China against Echelonia, before we will be done with all this ‘democracy’ nonsense.


It’s a democracy, it’s a republic, it’s two, two, two systems in one! What with bein’ a democratic republic an’ all. Seriously, though, the definition of “democracy” doesn’t require the people rule directly. Representative democracy is still democracy. Republicanism should not contrasted with democracy, with which it can coexist, but with monarchism. At least that’s my understanding.


And why target tyranny in Afghanistan and Iraq but not in China, Vietnam or Saudi Arabia?

WTF?!? Vietnam? That is fucking nuts. It’s frightening what these idiots fantasize about.


It’s a democracy, it’s a republic, it’s two, two, two systems in one!

“Two by two and their hands are blue!”

Quick- who here is a Firefly fan???


I only just started watching it on Sci-fi Fridays, but like it so far. Haven’t seen enough episodes to get the inside jokes and references yet.


I found a great ‘indian’ tale that makes this point very well. here it is

somehow McGruff is involved, very odd.


The “republic rather than democracy” argument, on the rare occasions that it is spelled out in full, turns on the idea that only those with a property stake in the outcome should really be entitled to vote. Once this meant only landowners, then only householders, and gradually the property barrier fell to zero. However, the shiftless, rootless, proletariat can now be bamboozled by mass media, which only respond to the wishes of property-owners, so the essential property qualification barrier remains in a hidden form.


Quick- who here is a Firefly fan???

I’m already blowing off homework that Friday night to see Serenity.

Okay, that may not sound like a big deal. But I am a fuddy-duddy, nose in a book, proverbial good student. I don’t blow off Friday night homework for anything.

Could FOX have mangled the release of Firefly any worse if someone had paid them to?


To be fair, Al Gore did more then his fair share of the work in convincing us that there was no difference between Bush and Gore. Remember the debates, where they agreed on pretty much everything?


I remember seeing a horrible tape where Gore was ruling endless complaints from black delegations about voting irregularities out-of-order, because none of them had a congressional sponsor.


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