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Old 02-15-2006, 01:26 PM   #16
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Democracy Always The Best Policy?

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Originally posted by nbcrusader


How can the citizens of another nation bind you to something they chose for themselves? I would guess that you do not automatically acknowledge and accept every law that is adopted through our democratic process.


but isn't this different than actively working to undermine a freely elected government? we can disagree with, say, Singapore's right to cane people who spit on sidewalks, but this is vastly different from working to undermine an entire government.
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Old 02-15-2006, 01:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

isn't that Yolland's original question, then? isn't this sending the message, "we respect democracy when it works out in our best interests?"
I think there is a difference in respecting the process of democracy and the outcome.
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Old 02-15-2006, 01:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by AliEnvy


When the outcome of a democratic decision isn't in your favour, you don't have to accept it.
I'm not sure "in your favor" is the best measuring stick, but I certainly isn't binding on any other country.
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Old 02-15-2006, 01:27 PM   #19
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Democracy Always The Best Policy?

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Originally posted by AliEnvy


I suppose that would depend on the manner in which you oppose those desires.


does it? no matter what you do, aren't you effectively saying, "you made the wrong choice"?
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Old 02-15-2006, 01:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


I'm not sure "in your favor" is the best measuring stick
What other measuring stick is there?
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Old 02-15-2006, 01:34 PM   #21
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Democracy Always The Best Policy?

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Originally posted by Irvine511

does it? no matter what you do, aren't you effectively saying, "you made the wrong choice"?
Well you can say, "you made the right choice for you" or "I don't agree with your choice".

If that choice infringes on you in any way, you can oppose it and fight for change....in a variety of ways.
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Old 02-15-2006, 01:37 PM   #22
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Democracy Always The Best Policy?

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Originally posted by AliEnvy


Well you can say, "you made the right choice for you" or "I don't agree with your choice".

If that choice infringes on you in any way, you can oppose it and fight for change....in a variety of ways.


how so?

and isn't this different from what Yolland was originally suggesting?

simply because the whole world was aghast at the re-election of George Bush does not mean that anyone is going to seek to undermine him, nor not recoginze him, or refuse to meet with him.
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Old 02-15-2006, 01:44 PM   #23
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Democracy Always The Best Policy?

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Originally posted by Irvine511
simply because the whole world was aghast at the re-election of George Bush does not mean that anyone is going to seek to undermine him, nor not recoginze him, or refuse to meet with him.
Other countries acted in their own way to show disapproval over the GWB election.
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Old 02-15-2006, 01:48 PM   #24
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Democracy Always The Best Policy?

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Originally posted by Irvine511

how so?
If America sees an Islamic theocracy as a threat to national security, it will at the very least, impose sanctions. Is that wrong?

If that country poses no threat, it would be wrong.

There is a difference in respecting someone else's right to self-determination and seeking to either propogate your self-interest or protect yourself.

Am I making any sense? lol


Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

simply because the whole world was aghast at the re-election of George Bush does not mean that anyone is going to seek to undermine him, nor not recoginze him, or refuse to meet with him.
He has too much power to be ignored. But make no mistake, much of the world is seeking to undermine that power.
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Old 02-15-2006, 01:50 PM   #25
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Democracy Always The Best Policy?

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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Other countries acted in their own way to show disapproval over the GWB election.


but is this tantamount to the policies Yolland has pointed out?

are there official government-sanction statements of disapproval over the election (newspaper headlines about the stupidity of 60m Americans don't count)?
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Old 02-15-2006, 06:52 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
we make a big mistake when we conflate democracy with an adoption of liberal Western values.
Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
A continuing democracy, even one that experiments and elects an Islamic theocracy, is a far better alternative to an established totalitarian regime that will not permit change.
I think these cut nicely to the heart of the dilemma, at least the form of it I was presenting.

The political scientist Samuel Huntington (ironically, he of Clash of Civilizations fame) was once known for the view that the essence of democracy is free elections, period--nothing more. Now, he has become a very reluctantly pro-democratization pessimist who emphasizes the role which individual freedoms, civic liberalism, a well-defined public/private sphere split, and the rule of (secular, rights-based) law have played in the development of democracy as the native political culture of the West. While recognizing the irony of supporting autocratic regimes which obstruct electoral freedom, he despairs of free elections ultimately leading to stability and a willingness to cooperate politically with the West (and Asia, whose breed of democracy he generally admires) on the part of countries who otherwise lack any apparent traditions of a "culture" of democracy. (Asia, he argues, shares many cultural parallels with the West in terms of traditional balance between political and non-political institutions, tolerance of multiple subcultures etc., which facilitated the spread of democracy there.)

And even from the beginning, Huntington fretted about what happened in 1930s Europe (weak and decidely-less-than-"free" democracies collapsing into fascism, which then shut down all traces of democratic process from the inside) as an ominous harbinger of what might result from a no-exceptions commitment to recognizing (appeasing?) the outcome of free elections anywhere and everywhere. Is carrot-and-stick encouragement of democratic statebuilding really an adequate response to such tendencies? he wondered.

verte cited Pakistan--another excellent example. Musharraf came to power in a coup, and routinely cancels elections--yet consider the alternatives, particularly given Pakistan's nuclearized status, disputed border with also-nuclearized India, and fertile soil for extremist madrassas in its poorly controlled (by the Pakistani Army and nothing more, really) northwestern territories. Damned if you do, damned if you don't: how can we support him without further encouraging the growth of seething reactionary movements from beneath? And yet, how prepared are we to deal with the potentially horrific costs of unleashing said reactionaries through free and democratic elections?
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Old 02-16-2006, 01:36 AM   #27
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And speaking of carrots and sticks...

Quote:
Rice Seeking Millions to Prod Changes in Iran

By STEVEN R. WEISMAN
The New York Times


WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 — The Bush administration, frustrated by Iranian defiance over its nuclear program, proposed Wednesday to spend $85 million to promote political change inside Iran by subsidizing dissident groups, unions, student fellowships and television and radio broadcasts.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, announcing a request for the money at a Senate hearing, said the administration had worked out a way to circumvent American laws barring financial relations with Iran to allow some money to go directly to groups promoting change inside the country. "We are going to begin a new effort to support the aspirations of the Iranian people," Ms. Rice said at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Senior State Department officials said they did not intend to publicize recipients of the money in the future, for fear that they could be jailed or even killed. The administration's limited attempts to channel money to human rights groups, labor unions and political organizations in Iran have not achieved much success so far, and many experts fear that future efforts could aid the wrong people or backfire on them if the financing becomes public.

The scope of the administration's effort goes beyond the numbers. Until now, the United States has been cautious about supporting dissident groups, fearful that Iranians may view these efforts as an echo of past American meddling in Iran's affairs. Though no one uses the words "regime change" to describe the ultimate American goal, that term has been used by conservatives in Congress who have in the last few years pressed for aid to Iranian dissidents.

The administration will try to upgrade American broadcasts into Iran by Voice of America and Radio Farda, an American-sponsored station that mostly plays music. Ms. Rice's announcement said the administration would try to form partnerships with Farsi satellite television and radio stations in Los Angeles. But Iranian experts caution that the private American stations have content that may be viewed as unsuitable in Iran. In addition, American officials say the administration needs to be careful not to align itself with people in the Iranian diaspora who have political agendas that are unpopular in Iran. Among these are monarchists who support the family of the late shah of Iran.
Democratization agenda--or destabilization agenda? Can we really pursue both at once in good faith?
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Old 02-16-2006, 04:26 AM   #28
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In the case of Iran I think that supporting the internal democratic revolution against the Mullahs is an infinitely better strategy than bombs and bullets (to those that may retort that the recent elections were democratic I would indicate the veto power over potential candidates and the boycott by many Iranians in protest).

In the case of North Korea nothing can be done that will not make the situation worse than it already is (and it is already a slave state with mass death and a future that promises either more of the same or the same problems with less to alleviate it).

A convergence of interests and means is what builds policy.
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Old 02-16-2006, 12:26 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
Democratization agenda--or destabilization agenda? Can we really pursue both at once in good faith?
When faced with a totalitarian regime, perhaps the destabilizations is needed to open up opportunity for democratization. I think it can be done in good faith once we look passed our own political suspisions.
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Old 02-16-2006, 06:56 PM   #30
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But you should not promote an agenda that creates more death, North Korea is an example of this.
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