John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Friday, January 21, 2005
  Bush's speech
One of the useful things about the internet is that you can go back to source. Whereas prior to the net it was possible to get hold of the original text. Now it is very easy.

Bush's inaugural speech

has various elements to it.

"So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."

I suppose this is the key change. In the past the US was generally very introspective. Now the Project for a New American Century's ideology has come to the fore. This is not surprising given the Close Associations between the Bush Administration and PNAC.

"All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you."

Tyranny is set as Bush's enemy and Liberty is his objective.

Democracy


Democracy is supposed to be the basis upon which the US is governed. Indeed the US do have elections, but gradually over time these elections have become dominated by advertising spend and election fraud.

Within the UK now a number of representatives at both local government level and parliamentary level depend upon electoral fraud to get elected. The Ukrainian elections were marred by Fraud particularly the first time. However, letter boxes are set on fire, and we have small election riots in the UK.

Democracy based upon the secret ballot is absolutely crucial to proper government, which I why I spend so much time banging on about this. Sadly under our current regime the fundamentals of democracy have been dramatically undermined with thousands of false ballots completed.

Some of the people supporting these changes make the assumption that people are less corruptible than they are. Others do it expecting electoral advantage.

In the mean time the Electoral Commission in the UK are proposing scrapping the declaration of identity. This is something which facilitates proving fraud. So they would make fraud harder to prove and then people would claim there is less fraud merely because it cannot be proven. The Electoral Reform Society have done a review into this.

So, there is no merit in Bush banging on about democracy when the democratic structures in the US and UK are so badly damaged. Personally I would not be surprised if his victory margin was less than the margin of electoral fraud in the USA.

Liberty


There is a challenge in getting the acceptance of any particular position in a country. A fair election can be part of this. It is, however, important to be aware of the political anthropology of any one country before coming to conclusions as to what approach is best.

Furthermore there is a fallacy of imperialism which is that the imperialist assumes that they understand the situation when frequently they do not. That is why it is important to be guided substantially by people in any country being considered rather than assume that a model defined by people in the US or UK will actually work.

Trying to impose a model suited to a class based society on Africa has been part of the cause of famine over time. Unless people understand exactly how the power structure operates it is a mistake trying to do anything to get involved.

Issues like the level of social capital are things which take at least one generation to change and are crucial issues in the operation of political structures.

The worst mistake the West makes is to assume that just because a regime is being nice to the West (eg Saddam Hussain in the 1980s) they are people to support.

Often the US's international adventures have come back to haunt it. (eg supporting Saddam Hussain, Osama bin Laden)

This did cause them to give up for a while.

It would be possible for the West to do something useful. That would be to work on the basis of principle rather than just responding to regimes on the basis of a combination of national interests and whether the regime is sympathetic to the west.

I am not going to hold my breath, however.

My fear of Bush's speech is that he has learnt nothing from Afghanistan and Iraq.

Imposing a western model on a segmented society fails.





 
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