Not too keen on democracy


The President of Council of Foreign relations does not think much of Democracy. This is emblematic of our "foreign policy elite." The CFR publishes Foreign Affairs magazine, and membership is considered by conspiracy theorists a badge of admission to the higher circles of power.

According to a Boston Globe report:
Promoting democracy is not a panacea. ''It is neither desirable nor practical to make democracy promotion a foreign policy doctrine," says Haass. ''Too many pressing threats," Iran, North Korea, Russia, China, as well as transnational issues, must take precedence over concerns about how people ''choose to govern themselves." Democracy means ''power distributed," and elections alone will not guarantee that. ''As a rule, 'electocracy' should not be confused with democracy," according to Haass.

''A democratic Palestine is certainly desirable, but it should not be viewed as essential," Haass contends. ''Requiring that Palestine be democratic would put off any peace negotiations for years, which would only fuel radicalism and violence. . . . What should matter most is not the character of the future government of Palestine so much as its willingness and ability to sign a peace treaty with Israel and live up to its obligations."

Nor is regime change by force a viable option, especially for North Korea or Iran. ''We must adjust our expectations to a long—term approach and abandon the fantasy of a quick fix," Haass says. ''Regime replacement" is often more difficult than regime change, as we may be seeing in Iraq, and ''prolonged occupations" are doomed. ''Those who seek to spread democracy will have to find alternative weapons."

As for Iraq, Haass says that the war was unnecessary and that Iraq has become a magnet for terrorists. There were no weapons of mass destruction, and ''the human rights situation in Iraq in 2002 did not warrant armed intervention."

Ed Lasky    6 3 05