The west and our commitment to democracy

Some things just seem strange to me these days.  I’d like to think I’m an enlightened person who makes a real effort to consider perspectives beyond those of my own culture.  I’m starting to consider that all our assumptions about the west’s role as stewards of democracy are not all that solid.

The west invades Iraq for a number reasons, but high on our agenda was democracy.

Now take a look at Egypt.  They get about 1.5 billion dollars a year in aid from the United States.  They also have a fictitious veneer of a democracy slathered over decades of autocratic repressive rule.

The people rise up in opposition to this government.  They are scared, and some die but the rest don’t give up.  There is looting but some of the looters are discovered to be government agents.  The government shuts down the Internet and mobile phone service and the police disappear.

Neighbourhood groups band together armed with anything they can find to defend their neighbours against looters.

If there is ever a ripe moment for the west to cheer on a desperate and courageous people it is now. 

All the United States can say is the corrupt autocratic leader needs to deliver on concrete reforms.  Initially they couldn’t even utter the word democracy.  Nor have they threatened to pull the 1.5 billion dollars of funding.  1.5 billion dollars they could probably using patching that 1.6 trillion dollar deficit they are running.

Al Jazeera is kicked out the country.  Not CNN, not the BBC, not the CBC,  but Al Jazeera.  Is it perhaps because their hard hitting and honest reporting is more of a threat than western media?  I don’t know for sure.  Perhaps they just have more people on the ground and constitute an more viable threat to the government.

Egypt isn’t the only country uncomfortable with Al Jazeera.  Al Jazeera’s channel isn’t available in most of the United States.

Has the west lost its place in championing human rights, free expression and democracy?

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