Democracy And The Middle East-How The American Public And Leadership Get It Wrong
The recent attacks on American interests in Egypt and Libya have again brought to the fore the fundamental problem with the American perspective on events in the Middle East. The tendency to flip flop is the inevitable result of attempting to support two different memes at the same time. In the final analysis it’s about the refusal shown by policymakers, as well as average Americans, to recognize it’s all about semantics and recognizing what it is we support.
The problem essentially is that neither party wishes to admit that we are not a country that supports democracy nor, in my view, should we. What we are is a country which supports a particular value system that acknowledges not only the rights of the majority, democracy, but the rights of the minority within that system, as well. The results of not making that distinction are plain to see and yet the notion that democracy includes the safeguarding of the rights of the minorities is so fixed in the American mind that it creates an impossible situation when events such as those which have occurred in the last few days take place.
I have been pointing out this problem in definitions for quite some time now, unfortunately to no avail. No-one has the courage to come out against “democracy” due to this dichotomy of definitions. Those who completely oppose what we call the “democratic” system of government, along with American interests, use this confusion of definitions to stymie any kind of realistic approach. It is of the upmost urgency that the United States accept the definition of democracy as the world understands it and moves to immediately replace the use of the word with one that more accurately reflects the actual position of the government and the American citizenry.
I may expand on this them in another article in the very near future.