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The Effects of “Democracy”

By: A. Polat

As Fareed Zakaria points out in The Future of Freedom elections do not equal democracy, and the confusion has the Bush administration caught in the middle. The recent acts of aggression both by and against Israel in the past 2 weeks highlight the reason why the Bush administration’s support of “democracy” in the Middle East has left the US in the middle with few ways out.

As Zakaria points out, democracies require that elements of the governing body be elected by the common public, but elections do not have the same requirement. You can’t have democracy without elections, but you can have elections without it.

Israel is currently waging a two-front “offensive” (aka war) both in Gaza and in Lebanon. Both are places that have been able to establish recent peace with Israel, after both gave into concessions heralded by the Bush administration, until things didn’t go according to plan. Last year the Palestinians elected Hamas, and recently the Lebanese have voted in Hezbollah into various parts of their government.

The same thing is also happening in Iraq, and again, very recently Iran as well. Both elections supported by the US, until certain people/groups were elected. But why is this happening, and is it really surprising?

President Bush today pointed out in a press conference that Israel has, “the right to defend herself,” but also added that he hopes Israel “does not do anything to damage the fragile democracy in Lebanon.” But the “democratic” process the reason that Beirut is being bombed at the moment. Israel blames the Hezbollah-rooted Lebanese government (that was elected by the people) for the mostly autonomous militant Hezbollah’s actions in the south.

Though the amount of involvement and interaction of the Lebanese government is uncertain, the point is that the Lebanese system of government was *already* fragile — just like the other Arab countries. Elections without democracy are nothing more than popularity contests, and at the moment, no one is less popular than Israel and the US. Therefore, no one should be surprised at the results of US/Israel bashing (think Hamas, Hezbollah, Ahmadinejad) and the effects.

The Iranian people for the most part don’t support Ahmadinejad, most in Syria don’t support Al-Assad, and the majority in Lebanon don’t support Hezbollah. Look at the effects these regimes are having on their people. If war, poverty, and political isolation are the effects of “democracy,” then the US and it’s ideals will never be able to win support among the Arab people and gain legitimacy in the Middle East.

If the US continues to label “democracy” the most every nation that holds elections, then we not only continue to give democracy a bad rap, but US policy around the world as well. And, if we want better governments, regimes, and ultimately a stable, peaceful Iraq and Middle East, then we desperately need the their vote.

Last year, Islamist-backed candidates won by overwhelming majority in Saudi Arabia’s first ever municipal elections. Women were not allowed to vote.

Source: BBC News

i totally called it

this is my first little posty thingy and all i have to say pour le moment is: i called it! HA in yo’ face, Anil! forza portugalllll 😀 anyhoo, i must go to work now and continue my living folding clothes and helping stupid people… it’s great, i LOVE it. sike. 🙂 vive le france! i hope zidane gets to experience winning another one against brasil… 😀

UNICEF for July

Just to update the donations…$425.00 so far in 2006. Remember the goal to raise $1000 by January 1, 2007. Every little bit helps, even $5 a month adds up.


And remember all domations are 100% tax deductable. Your reciept is emailed to you right away.

From the Hands of God

I woke up at 5 am to drive and took the longest possible way home last night…

I’ve never had goosebumps from my drive into work. Or heard an engine roar, and hum at the same time…felt like I was a part of the asphalt. Living in an era when driving still meant something.

My uncle let me borrow his 84′ BMW 325i.

Pure car, nothing fancy, just pure car. I hope they total my car in the shop. It’s only there for service, but I could live with that.

I had a constant smile on my face…every red light was a green waiting to happen…I turned to look at the others on the road, driving “normal” cars and thought,
“how do they do that everyday?”

I can’t wait to hit the road again.

Want to watch the World Cup live on your computer?

Pour un temp plus?

Update: I was informed that this was not working, but here is another potential solution…I’ve got Verizon so I can’t test, but go for it…Brazil plays today, then ZZs last game for France! Bon chance!

Click the “World Cup live” link

Well, ESPN is streaming all of the games…sadly only for Verizon customers. Good thing I ran across this lifehacker article. If you don’t have Verizon, you can still get the games streamed…and here’s how you do it.

Take this link below:

then just change the date to today’s day…then change the name of the country and change it to one of the countries in the game you want to watch. So check it out and give it a whirl


Also, Kevin wanted babes, so here is a link to “babes of the world cup”

About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More

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