Saturday, January 28, 2006

Democracy in the Middle East (?)

Did anyone notice that the United States pumped two million dollars into Palestine in an (unsuccessful) attempt to influence election results there? Here's a link to an article that mentions this (in a throwaway line near the end of the piece): Here's the quote I'm talking about:

"That Hamas' victory was a serious blow to the Bush administration hopes, however, was made clear by reports this week that Washington had spent more than two million dollars on dozens of small projects in recent months to bolster Fatah's image in the constituencies in which Hamas had done well in last year's municipal polls. " (emphasis added).

What would the Bush administration say if, for instance, China spent millions of dollars trying to influence a US election by helping the Democrats? I seem to remember quite an uproar several years ago, during the Clinton years, when Republicans suggested just that. But apparently it is ok for the US to choose sides in elections in the Middle East and inject money into the process in an attempt to help our preferred party. Wonder if that will help our image in the Arab and Muslim world?


Anonymous JJ said...

See? The middle east is already taking lessons from the West in the art of Democracy!

You just have to get past that pesky idea that Democracy has anything to do with the will of the people, and understand that it only has to do with the will of those with the money to influence decisions.

Because, you see, those with money can create will among their own people. They used to call it propaganda, now it's called lobbying. Or simply by the innocuous name of "politics".

Repeat a lie often enough, and it becomes the truth.

Forget the fact that Hamas creates genuine social programs. Forget the fact that Hamas feeds the homeless. Forget the fact that Hamas is fighting for the right of return.

Fatah, they are the "voice of the Palestinians!" Why? Well, that's still an unanswered question...

But Hamas are terrorists! They kill people! Last I checked Israel was killing people with American made helicopters and missles. Yet they are both considered the supreme ideal of democracy in that region.

With all of this in mind, I'm confused... is democracy good or bad?

Somehow I feel I'm beyond the looking glass here.

8:56 AM  

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