Nation Building, or Democracy by Other Means

Nation Building, or Democracy by Other Means

Nation Building, or Democracy by Other Means

Nation Building, or Democracy by Other Means

Synopsis

Despotism, fundamentalism, and the rise of terrorism have created a puzzling moral question in the twenty-first century: how far should America go to help press ahead political and cultural change in the world?aThe reader will discover that while international pressure has often played a pivotal role in encouraging change, peaceful democratizations are historically not imposed from outside but are initiated and executed by leaders within the old system."

Excerpt

Ever since the end of its colonial power, the West has put pressure on the developing countries in other forms, for one thing by insisting they adopt democracy; the outcome has been little better than chaos.

The West’s global democratization projects, which occasionally have included coup d’états, assassinations, and military operations, failed in country after country.

The relationship between the United States and South American countries have been filled with tension for more than 100 years, with the us alternately overthrowing legitimate rulers to install US-friendly strongmen, and blaming its southern neighbors for “not understanding democracy” and the merits of the free market, while southern countries accuse “the Yanquis” of employing the language of democracy as a pretext for extending their imperial reach all over the region. From the 1960s through the 1975, a costly war was fought in Vietnam, only to see the communists quickly gain control over all of Vietnam promptly after the us military withdrawal.

The Middle East and Central Asia are a whole different ball game. the West under the leadership of the United States is coming off badly in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If the vision was to build democracies there, the result has been destruction, death and humiliation for all parties involved. Some form of a multiparty system has been imposed, but the political reality is nowhere near the ideals of democracy. What really happened, and why? What went wrong, or rather, could it have gone right? the pro-

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