April 7, 2011

EVER NOTICE HOW NONE OF THE rEALISTS CHOOSE TO LIVE...:

What Mongolia Can Teach the Middle East: The popular upheavals in Tunis, Cairo, and Tripoli gripped Ulaan Bator only a generation ago. Now it's our turn to help the Arab revolutions fulfill their potential. (ELBEGDORJ TSAKHIA, APRIL 6, 2011, Foreign Policy)

To many foreign-policy "experts," especially so-called "realists," these Middle Eastern movements for political liberalization come as a complete surprise. They should not. What we are witnessing speaks to a primary human value granted to each of us, no matter the country: the desire for freedom and the urge to peacefully work to see one's values reflected in government. People deprived of this right will naturally seek it, fight for it, and if necessary, die for it.

Leaders should acknowledge this fact and unleash the tremendous potential of their countrymen through political liberalization. From this will flow greater education, greater economic benefits, and a better standard of living for all to enjoy. Democracies are inherently peaceful. A democratic process seeks solutions through dialogue and negotiation, not through violent acts or the use of force.

Some still fear change in the Middle East's status quo, but this skepticism is misplaced. The "jasmine" spirit should be embraced, and the international community should work within that process of change to plant and reinforce democratic values. As political pluralism takes root, the major losers will be radical elements, such as al Qaeda, who hold themselves up as vehicles for change through terror and violence.

In 1990, following the overthrow of Mongolia's Politburo, the democratic leaders of our country asked a simple question: What next? It was easy to be against something. Now, we had to move from activists to advocates. Frankly, that was when our most difficult work began. In the months that followed, we hammered out a new constitution that enshrined individual liberties, a democratic process, and an independent court system. Political and economic development went hand in hand. Since that time, Mongolia has experienced several peaceful transfers of political power, and today our GDP is primed to triple over the next decade thanks to our natural resources and the creativity of our people.

Egypt and Tunisia -- and hopefully other countries that emerge from democratic revolution -- will need much assistance. The corrupt, kleptocratic bureaucracies and repressive security forces that enforced the tyranny of their previous rulers must be radically overhauled. Laws must be adopted to protect the political gains that the people have fought to achieve. This is where countries such as Mongolia and others that have transitioned to democratic governance could help


...under the regimes they advocate for?

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 7, 2011 7:00 PM
  
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