Thursday, June 09, 2005

'Foster democracy through non-violent means'

Yesterday I was watching a quick segment on CNN on the tube in the break room. During the time it took to get a cup of coffee, I got to see a woman hailing from the Carter Center speaking on the human-right-du-jour topic of Guantanamo Bay. Her specifics weren't what garnered my attention, it was the casual remark that the United States, being the great democracy we are today, should be fostering democracy elsewhere through non-violent means. It was the offhanded, totally trivial manner she made the comment with that really got me to realize: she honestly believes that democracy can be simply formed up from a dictatorship when a group of people stand up and sing "we shall overcome" in the right key. By what non-violent method would Saddam Hussein have been removed from power? UN Sanctions? Sure, if the UN was actually sanctioning anything rather than funneling money into their own pockets and into the coffers of the man they're supposed to be sanctioning.

(Of course, to fix that you need reform at the UN and the Democrats are actively obstructing the confirmation of the man who would do that. I'm just saying.)

In fact, I'd like someone to point out, seriously, a democracy that was formed anywhere at any time without recourse to or threat of violent action. America? Nope - Revolutionary War. Any country in Europe? Hardly. Japan? World War II. Dictators do not simply release their hold on their rulership. They don't simply decide to let the people have a voice that might say "Arrest that guy" while they're pointing right at the dictator's head.

The Carter Center's attitude isn't surprising in the least. But it is blind to the real facts of history. So long as that is true, their suggestions about using the "can't we all just get along" method of grrowing a democracy from the soil of tyranny will continue to be regarded as near nonsense.