Democratic thinking

Articles on democracy in the independent online media

September 09, 2006

Arab world's rejection of Americas democracy

Outspoken Khalaf Ahmed Al Habtoor of the Lebanon's Daily Star is discussing Western democracy and America's efforts to impose USA style "democracy" to the Middle East:

The US is behaving as though it has the patent on "democracy." In the same way it exports Uncle Ben's Rice, Starbucks and F16s to the Middle East, it is eager to impose its own stars-and-stripes brand of "rule by the people for the people." The US wants us to believe that democracy comes in one-size-fits all like a "made in America" T-shirt. It has attempted to cloak this system of governance, which has its roots in Ancient Greece, with an almost religious aura. Those who challenge it are unfairly dubbed communists, fascists, despots or dictators.

It's time to break this contrived taboo. We must analyze America's motives in trying to remake this region in its own image. We must question whether Western-style democracy is right for us. And we must ask ourselves whether there is a better solution; a home-grown solution based on who we truly are and what we need.

Washington arrogantly tells us democracy is the only way forward for this region in spite of the fact that the Arab world has functioned without it for thousands of years, producing remarkable thinkers and accomplishments in the fields of literature, mathematics, philosophy and science.

This is not to imply that any of our governments are perfect - far from it - but neither are Western so-called democracies where citizens are often indoctrinated into believing they are free when many are not.

Full article.

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