May 5, 2013

rEALISM IS NOTHING MORE THAN THE PREFERENCE FOR TOTALITARIAN "STABILITY" OVER MESSY DEMOCRACY:

Democracy Promotion Benefits the United States (Zalmay Khalilzad | May 3, 2013, National Interest)

In his recently published criticism of U.S. democracy programs, particularly those of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Jordan Michael Smith characterizes that organization's work as "controversial." Controversial? In 2003, on the twentieth anniversary of NED's founding, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution commending its work and pledging future support. The vote was 390-1. A not-for-profit organization that receives federal funding, the Endowment has been a line-item in the budget of every president, Democratic and Republican, year in and year out, since its inception thirty years ago.

Of course, supporting civic organizations that seek our assistance is indeed regarded as controversial by authoritarians who seek to crush the aspirations of their own people. Smith takes at face value the accusations of such authorities as the Kremlin-funded Russia Today, Iran's former envoy to the United Nations, and Egypt's justice minister, that NED and other democracy-assistance groups seek "to determine the governmental systems of other countries." Had he interviewed NED's grantees (detailed in its freely available annual report), he would have found that NED supports independent democratic activists and NGOs that are politically diverse, pragmatic, and reformist. Often, their activities are in tension with the array of interests that the U.S. government pursues.

Their God-given right to self-determination trumps our petty self-interests.

Posted by at May 5, 2013 9:08 AM
  

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