Thursday, February 24, 2005

t r u t h o u t - Juan Cole | The Downside of Democracy

t r u t h o u t - Juan Cole | The Downside of Democracy: "The Downside of Democracy
By Juan Cole
The Los Angeles Times

Thursday 24 February 2005

What if the U.S. doesn't like what the voters like in the Mideast and beyond?

With the emergence of Shiite physician Ibrahim Jafari as the leading candidate for Iraqi prime minister earlier this week, the contradictions of Bush administration policy in the Middle East have become even clearer than they were before.

President Bush says he is committed to democratizing the region, yet he also wants governments to emerge that are friendly to the U.S., benevolent to their own people, secular, capitalist and willing to stand up and fight against anti-American radicals.

But what if democratic elections do not produce such governments? What if the newly elected regimes are friendly to states and groups that Washington considers enemies? What if the spread of democracy through the region empowers elements that don't share American values and goals?"

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