Thoughts on Democracy
posted in response to
"September eleventh was a seminal moment for me. I had gotten over the depression that I had suffered for about a week after, my life was getting back to what it was. I had seen on tv and read so much about the eleventh, it was becoming normal, a part of my psyche. That was till I read your oped. The feeling of loneliness returned to my heart reading you, that feeling of incomprehensiblity. Why do they hate us? I guess somewhere deep down perhaps the more important question that I fear to pose is, "do they hate me?".
Over the last couple of years I have felt that issues of democracy and human rights that we preach could be a smoke screen for a new stealthy form of imperialism. I mean we have not exactly covered ourselves in a shroud of righteousness with the way we and the russians behaved during the cold war. We are taught from childhood to walk the path of righteousness yet I was at pains to explain to some of my friends from where this righteousness springs from.
It springs from us. It is right because our laws are not dogma, our constitution can be subverted, perhaps even destroyed, it is not the word of God. My apprehension is that this abstraction will be incomprehensible to much of the rest of the world. I believe that our dialogue should be about democracy, I dont think there is anything shameful about democracy. If our policy in the middle east is a concequence of democracy, I have only one message for those who have complaints, engage our democracy, not war on it.
I think that is one of the things people in the middle east do not understand about the west, particularly, the U.S, our democracy. They dont understand that our presidents and prime ministers are not like the kings, emirs,mullahs or generals, they are fallible and occasionally corrupt. How we engange them in this dialogue of democracy will determine how well we have stamped out terrorism from our midst."