The Bush Administration stakes much of its credibility on democracy - spreading democracy, the growth of democracy, etc. But when democracy doesn't produce the results that they want...they are quick to dismiss it, and to dismiss the thoughts and will of so many peoples - and what those opinions say about America.
The United States says it supports democratic government, but when the people of Venezuela elected populist Hugo Chavez - who is not friendly to the US - we did not try to determine what that means about our involvement in South American affairs - no, we organize a coup to overthrow Chavez, a coup which lead to a popular uprising - bordering on civil war - to get Chavez back in power. Does that sound like the US advancing democracy?
The United States says it supports democratic government, but when the people of Haiti elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide - who was not a great pro-US leader to say the least - we did not try to determine what that means about our involvement in the Carribbean - no, we organized a coup to overthrow Aristide, a coup which has lead to essentially permanent violence and fighting in Haiti. Does that sound like the US advancing democracy?
The United State says it supports democratic government, but now, the people of Palestine have overwhelmingly elected Hamas - a violent terrorist organization - as their majority representation in their legislature. Does that make Bush try to determine what this means about our mid-east policy, and how it is affecting the people of Israel and Palestine? Of course not. Instead, we simply reject this government and say that we will not negotiate with or acknowledge such a government.
Understand - I'm not saying that any of these three examples are governments that I "support" or I think were the right choices for these governments. What I'm trying to argue is if we are indeed a nation which espouses democracy, we need to also be a nation who is willing to question and analyze what the results of these elections mean to us, and what we are doing in the world. I am of the opinion that the United States' position in the world - our moral authority - is integral to both our national security, and promoting liberty around the globe. This administration has taken the directly opposite view - that if we are "mightiest" we will secure our position.
If we are going to spread democracy - we have to be willing to look critically at what democracy is telling us.