News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Cartoon Democracy and Empire

Friday, February 17, 2006

Cartoon Democracy and Empire

What is ironic about the Bush rhetoric concerning pushing democracy to the rest of the world is that his administration never meant it anyway. As usual with these things, the reality behind the Oz facade is that the US hype to spread its brand of empire by hook or crook will not brook any real democracy arising. The Bush admin's recent decision not to deal with the democratically elected Palestinian political party Hamas only proves the point.

Like a cartoon hero, Bush came to whack and rive all the bad guys of the world. All the missteps and miscalculations remind you of a cartoon where the heroes bungle every plan, cause immense wrack and ruin, and end up with a hilarious nothing for all the mayhem. ...

Illinois Republican representative Henry Hyde puts the case as bluntly and honestly as possible for a politician:

A leading House Republican warned Thursday that President Bush’s promotion of democracy worldwide could backfire, producing chaos rather than stability.

“There is no evidence that we or anyone can guide from afar revolutions we have set in motion,” said Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois, chairman of the House International Relations Committee.

Rather than a quick fix to America’s problems overseas, pushing democracy in places that have no history of it “may, in fact, constitute an uncontrollable experiment with an outcome akin to that faced by the Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” Hyde said.

His remarks at a hearing with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reflected a growing unease on Capitol Hill over the direction of U.S. foreign policy after January’s Palestinian parliamentary elections, won by the radical Islamic group Hamas.
I wonder which apprentice it is that Hyde refers to: Disney or Goethe. The Disney version seems most a propos, given the cartoonish nature of US pretensions to world empire. Unfortunately, unlike a cartoon, the blood and violence in Iraq and around the world kills and maims creatures of flesh and blood.

A further irony presents itself. What the failure to live up to its deceitful rhetoric reveals is the true face of this empire. It is simply power politics. At least now, with the pretensions to supposed democratic motivations out of the way, we can begin to debate the real issue: to empire or not to empire.

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1 comment:

Louise Pharand Doren said...

From, on the newspaper that stoked the outrage over Danish cartoons:

The Rakyat Merdeka cases

Rakyat Merdeka is a daily tabloid owned by the country’s largest media group, Jawa Pos, that has gained prominence as a result of its gritty, often abrasive, style, with articles and caricatures that frequently strongly criticize the political establishment.

Two of the paper’s editors are facing legal sanctions for publishing material deemed insulting. In one case, the former editor has been tried and found guilty of defamation under Article 310 of the Criminal Code (KUHP), while the other is currently on trial and charged under Article 134 of KUHP for insulting the President, an offence punishable by up to six years in jail.