Sunday, May 18, 2008

Callenges from President Bush's speech at the World Economic Forum in Egypt

On the final leg of his President Bush's latest Middle East tour, he addressed world leaders in at the World Economic Summit in Egypt. There he pressed Arab leaders to embrace democray. In that same speech he declared "All nations in the region must stand together in confronting Hamas, which is attempting to undermine efforts at peace with continued acts of terror and violence."

The Palestinian elections, while conducted under military occupation, were different than those in Iraq. The process was created and implemented overwhelmingly by Palestinians themselves, voter turn-out was high, and appears more or less free of intimidation. The most significant impediment was Israel's refusal to allow campaigning of Hamas and other parties in occupied East Jerusalem, and its severe limits on who could vote within the city. But there is no indication yet that those problems had a significant impact on the result. (link here <-- click)

Other democratically elected governments that invite confusion in US activism and nation-building having just democracy as its raison-detre include Mahmoud Ahmedinijad, Hugo Chavez, and others.

We have come to a point in political history in which the term Democracy no longer functions as a cure-all to guide foreign policy and the world of international relations. Political science must begin to treat the question of domestic and international relations, as well as structures of domestic leadership with greater nuance, and seek to provide their findings to policy makers.

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