Monday, March 15, 2004

On US Plan for "democracy in the Middle East." (thanks Jane) I do not take the US plan seriously; I think the US will use the "threat" of democracy against Middle East governments that do not toe the line, and allow dictatorships to proceed in their violations of human rights provided they do what they are told (like Saudi Arabia). I also happen to believe that "democracy" per se is not that pressing a need for solving the problems of the Middle East region. (But of course we need to end the horrific abuses of human rights in those countries. Don't get me wrong. Democracy is great for writers and academics like myself, but what would it do to the poor of the region, 1/3rd of whom live on less than a dollar a day? What has "democracy" done to the people of Russia? Of course, ideally we should have a system that marries democracy to social justice, as they have tried to do in Sweden. But for me socio-economic justice is supreme (and not along the lines of the failed and lousy socialist governments of the former Soviet camp).