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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dictatorship and Democracy -1

It's a great myth that democratic nations support democracy in other parts of the world. China and India are on the same page in the case of maintaining relationship with Burma's dictatorship government. Both of these developing nation will eevntually walk on the same path of USA i.e. supporting puppet dictators for its own development. There is no doubt on the rise of US economy after 2nd world war. Let's have close look on foreign policy of American government in last 60 years.

Pakistan prominent newspaper, Dawn covered a pin pointing editorial on relationship of America and Dictators : Would Pakistan in the 21st century be wracked by militancy and terrorism if the US hadn’t supported Gen Zia and pumped millions into the Afghan ‘jihad’?

The point here is that America has long been hand in glove with military dictators and varied despots, not just in Pakistan but across the globe. In Central and South America it has even engineered coups to oust democratically elected administrations. Bloodbaths followed but that did not deter the US from throwing its full weight behind regimes that were answerable to no one but Washington. US foreign policy inflicted grievous harm on countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Chile and Nicaragua in the Americas and Indonesia and the Philippines in the east.

Then there was the generous support for the likes of Saddam Hussein, the Shah of Iran and of course every single Pakistani dictator dating back to Gen Ayub Khan. A lot of this had to do with the exigencies of the Cold War. But the fact remains that the US itself has derailed democracy throughout the world.

I am not asiding the era of cold war in dealing with the issue of American interference. Yet, the moral policing of American government has not stopped post soviet era.

The Southasian Idea commented long back on the backdrop of USA in Iraninan youths protest against forged elections: This is not the first time that an election is being stolen in Iran. Only American citizens remain uninformed of what happened in 1953. [There was a 1953 CIA coup against Iran's democratically elected prime minister.] And that was not an aberration: leave aside Chile (known in Latin America as the first 9/11) and the banana republics of Central America, the US government has even intervened in elections in Greece and Italy during the 1960s. There is need to ask the question: Why? Why has even the American government been so scared of democracy? And why does it desire democracy in Iraq but not in Saudi Arabia?

In the coming blog post, we will discuss that there is huge relation between development and mode of governance in the state. Till now, the readers would have easily guessed the answer of question : Why does USA desire democracy in Iraq but not in Saudi Arabia? Oil.


  1. There's only so far any country can go without first looking to its own interests. So if India or the US were to have a clean choice between supporting a democracy or a dictatorship, both would choose a democracy.

    There are many in the US who are not happy at all about having to buy oil from the gulf - one of the reasons why they want to drill offshore. But what to do? Oil is the blood of any economy as of now and it'll be just silly for the US to ignore that for a protest that will come to nothing in the end...

  2. @ Bhagwad Jal Park, There is always a form of self interest in the humans and governments are just personified form of them. But the drive towards competition instead of cooperation is more harming in long duration.

    I am also in the support of your prediction: Always a country goes first looking to its own interests. Yet, I would disagree that both would choose a democracy if given choice. And US has chosen sides of Pakistan in the past and even the fraud elections of Afghanistan shows that US wants puppet president as replacement of dictators. Give me sometime to prove my facts.

    US is world power and India still has to develop its credential as a major player in world politics.
    I am skeptical about India. But why would we choose to go into the issues delibrately blind stumbling in the very places the countries and socities before us did, and repeating their mistakes one by one. We will go as US did in the past with our emerging power.

    It means development is always exploitation of the resources even at the cost of people. Democracy, Dictatorship or any idealogy does not mean if natural resources are to be exploited.



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