Monday, December 04, 2006

Worldwide Democracy?

If the leaders whom we are supposed to hate so much -- even the ones who are The Terrorists -- keep getting elected democratically, doesn't that negate the ostensible premise of our foreign policy -- that America-loving allies will magically spring up all over the world where there are democracies and they will help us fight The Terrorists?...Perhaps we can soon come to the realization that it may not be such a good idea for a country which is intensely disliked by much of the world's population on every continent to urge that leaders be chosen democratically, since, by definition, that will likely produce leaders who are hostile rather than friendly to the U.S.
--Glenn Greenwald

Greenwald makes an excellent point. This doesn't necessarily mean that we should try to please every nation with our foreign policy. But it does suggest that we can't, contrary to what some politicians and so-called pundits would have us believe, ultimately separate our national interests from the perceptions the peoples of other nations have of us, especially if we're going to promote democracy throughout the world. For it stands to reason, and recent events bear it out, that if we act in ways that the peoples of other nations resent and detest, they're going to democratically elect leaders who oppose us. Does this mean that we should abandon our principles and suck up to everyone so that they'll like us?

On the contrary. I'd like to suggest that what it REALLY means is that we should act in accordance with wholesome, higher principles that acknowledge that what's best for America is, in the long run, what's best for the entire world because we are all, increasingly and ultimately, one people and one world.

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