Democratic thinking

Articles on democracy in the independent online media

February 19, 2006

Western democracy

The Western democracies, so keen on exporting their political model to the rest of the world, seem to be perfecting the art of shooting themselves in the foot, and I'm not even going to mention the war in Iraq.

The cartoon affair which showed up Danish democracy as religiously illiterate at the onset and by last week's end defensively bigoted was preceded only two weeks earlier by President Jacques Chirac of France boldly announcing that any (presumably Islamic) nation that supported groups that tried to use terrorism and weapons of mass destruction against France should expect a nuclear riposte.

In an age when a terrorist group could at best detonate a so-called "dirty bomb", conventional explosives wrapped around some stolen nuclear waste and kill at most a thousand people, or biological weapons like the anthrax letters that killed all of half a dozen people in the U.S. four years' ago, this was showing a European democracy at its most tendentious not to say callous and barbaric.

Democracies seem presently so intent on revealing an ugly side that, unless one absorbed it with one's mother's milk as most westerners have, present practice might dissuade one for all time.

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