June 05, 2005

Spreading Democracy Thither and Yon

The Washington Post headline: Hezbollah Wins Easy Victory In Elections in Southern Lebanon:

Hezbollah, the armed Shiite Muslim movement, and its allies claimed a massive victory in southern Lebanon in the second stage of national elections Sunday, a vote the group says it hopes will prove its strength and send a message of defiance to the United States.

... Hezbollah, backed by Syria and Iran, is fielding 14 candidates across Lebanon, hoping to build on the nine seats it already holds in the 128-member legislature. It has already won a seat in Beirut. ...

Notwithstanding the fact that Lebanon was already a democracy before we started waving our big, swinging ultimatums, I wonder if our 'pro-democracy' crowd in this country really thought through what the will of the people might mean in countries where people don't like us. The outcome isn't always favorable to American interests, just as the democratically elected government of Turkey decided they didn't want to get involved in Iraq from the get-go, and as many other democratic governments have decided they could no longer stay.

I don't think that's an argument against democracy, but if the actions of the Bush administration towards Venezuela are any indication, the neo-theocon contingent just might. Of course, these people don't even regard domestic electoral opposition as legitimate, let alone uppity foreigners who dare question them. Still, foreigners persist in being uppity, even though this makes the Bush administration accuse them of hating democracy, freedom and whatever else they're peddling. This is what Venezuela's democratically elected president had to say about America's devotion to democracy at the Organization of American States (OAS) summit:

... "If there is any government that should be monitored by the OAS, then it should be the U.S. government, a government which backs terrorists, invades nations, tramples over its own people, seeks to install a global dictatorship," he said.

His latest anti-U.S. outburst reflected the current tense state of relations between Venezuela, the world's No. 5 oil exporter, and the United States, its biggest oil client.

U.S. officials have said they are worried that Chavez's dominance of his country's courts, military and other state institutions, combined with his government's persecution of political opponents, puts Venezuela's democracy at risk. ...

Chavez managed to get elected with a large majority and without the equivalent of the Ohio political machine. Chavez also has real opponents, instead of the theoretical opponents Bush has to face, making his three electoral victories that much more of an accomplishment. And yet, mysterious as it may seem to some, his duly elected self doesn't like the Bush administration.

If the Bush administration is worried about a president that controls all branches of domestic government and hassles political opponents, maybe they don't need to be looking as far afield as Venezuela.

Posted by natasha at June 5, 2005 11:59 PM | International | Technorati links |
Comments

If the Bush administration is worried about a president that controls all branches of domestic government and hassles political opponents, maybe they don't need to be looking as far afield as Venezuela.

Yes, except they're not worried about that pResident - he's just a figurehead who has been easily controlled. And he's been following the orders of his handlers very well, too...

Posted by: (: Tom :) at June 6, 2005 10:42 AM

Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia should all be sign posts of the outcome of US meddling in foreign affairs.

The administration has been waging a war in Venezuala for a while, even fomenting and supporting an illegal overthrow.

It's amazing how time and again people in power don't believe the experience of history applies to them.

Posted by: Don P at June 7, 2005 01:16 PM