Global democratic revolution

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Also see democratic revolution and Global insurgency for change.

Presidential Uses

Public statements made by U.S. President George W. Bush:

"The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution." (excerpted for global distribution and featured on special White House web page, "Renewal in Iraq", promoting his other slogan "New Iraq").
  • In the same speech, he says "the strength and will of free peoples are now being tested before a watching world". See Global insurgency for change where it is shown that people both free and freedom-seeking are indeed being tested by U.S. interventionism.
  • In the same speech, he says "It should be clear to all that Islam -- the faith of one-fifth of humanity -- is consistent with democratic rule" and "More than half of all the Muslims in the world live in freedom under democratically constituted governments."
  • 6 November 2003 (1:12pm), at Signing of H.R. 3289: Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense and for the Reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, he said:
"The establishment of a free Iraq and a free Afghanistan will be watershed events in the history of the Middle East, watershed events in the global democratic revolution that has already transformed Europe and Latin America and much of Africa and Asia. The resources we commit today will further advance the cause of freedom, thereby serving the cause of peace and enhancing the security of the American people."
  • 19 November 2003, in London, he said "If the greater Middle East joins the democratic revolution that has reached much of the world, the lives of millions in that region will be bettered, and a trend of conflict and fear will be ended at its source."

Other official uses

  • U.S. Department of State: "Over the past quarter-century, a profound democratic revolution, grounded in the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, has reshaped the world political order and helped secure global economic prosperity."
  • Editorial note: Economic prosperity for the few, secured around the globe. Note the following use of "Democracy, human rights, religious freedom, and worker rights rank high among the fundamental American values that have helped to create this freer, more stable, and prosperous global arena ."
  • Editorial note: The text on this page pre-dates January 2001.[2], http://web.archive.org/web/20010413161836/http://www.state.gov/g/drl/ (<- link doesn't 'wiki' properly)

Initial press treatments

  • "The revolution under former president Ronald Reagan freed the people of Soviet-dominated Europe, he declared, and is destined now to liberate the Middle East as well."
  • "The speech also had the earmarks of a president seeking to embed a substantive doctrine into his mission, something beyond the doctrine of preemptive war, which [George W. Bush] and other Bush administration members have invoked in justifying the attack on Iraq."
  • "U.S. President George W. Bush painted himself in Reaganesque hues yesterday, declaring that a free Iraq will be a watershed event in a 'global democratic revolution' in which dictatorships around the Middle East and elsewhere will crumble. He compared that to how communist regimes collapsed under the crush of Cold War pressure from the United States under former President Ronald Reagan."
  • Patrick Basham is a domestic political analyst at the Cato Institute, a Washington research group. Basham told RFE/RL that the idea of spreading democracy -- although not a new message from the administration -- until now has taken a backseat to fighting terrorism and waging war in Iraq.
    Basham said the new emphasis on democracy is in part dictated by political circumstances, including next year's U.S. presidential election, 2004.
    "It's a polishing of an old spin. It's always been part of the strategy -- or you might say the rationale -- for the intervention in Iraq, that if we went in, if we took out a terrorist-type regime, that we would not only make the world safer, but we would make the world freer," Basham said. "That's a message which has not always been stressed, but now [the administration is] looking for some good news. Basham said that by likening his efforts to what Americans widely believe was Reagan's successful stand against the Soviets, Bush is seeking to regain control over the negative messages being heard about Iraq, as well as gain the upper hand with voters."
  • That he should have made such remarks on the eve of Leon Trotsky's birthday - the architect of "global socialist revolution" - was of course just coincidence. However, the similarities between Trotsky's idea that socialism should be spread at the barrel of a gun and the idea that democracy can be forced on the Muslim world through violent occupation and threat of invasion are obvious.
  • Contemporary American foreign policy is Trotsky's revenge. The neo-conservative movement that holds Washington in its thrall is itself merely a warmed-up version of Trotsky's Fourth International. As Michael Lind wrote in Britain's The New Statesman (April 7), the neo-cons are "products of the largely Jewish-American Trotskyist movement of the 1930s and 1940s, which morphed into anti-communist liberalism between the 1950s and 1970s and finally into a kind of militaristic and imperial right with no precedents in American culture or political history".
  • A secure and prosperous future for America will not be found in "permanent democratic revolution"; "benevolent hegemony"; "creative destruction" or any of the other neo-con code words for empire. Since World War II, the US has intervened in over 20 countries, with no democracies resulting.
  • The solution lies in a return to the foreign doctrine articulated by Thomas Jefferson in his farewell address. The US should seek "peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none". Likewise, John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the US, articulated that America "goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own".

See Foreign Media Reaction recorded by the U.S. Department of State, from whence these summaries:

  • 'Democracy is not a fast food' --Arab and Pakistani commentators declared that "democracy is a culture" that cannot be "promoted or injected into the blood of the people." Democracy, according to Qatar's semi-independent Al-Watan, is "a long process of practice, experiences and pain."
  • It's not the democratic message, it's 'the messenger' --Arab papers, pointing to the U.S. war in Iraq and Washington's support for Israel, said Bush lacked "credibility" to speak about democracy.

Related Notes

  • "The chairmen and other leaders of the national Republican and Democratic party organizations are initiating a study with the bipartisan American Political Foundation to determine how the United States can best contribute as a nation to the global campaign for democracy now gathering force." -- 1982 article by American Conservative Union
  • Compare to "global democracy"
  • Note Bush's uses of the phrase "a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East"
  • Wonder, how can Iraq "be a watershed event in the 'global democratic revolution', when there has been no revolution in Iraq or of Iraqis? Just whose "revolution" is this?
  • Note that the introductory speeches made no reference at all to the United Nations or to Israel.
    • However, regarding Palestine, he said "For the Palestinian people, the only path to independence and dignity and progress is the path of democracy. And the Palestinian leaders who block and undermine democratic reform, and feed hatred and encourage violence are not leaders at all. They're the main obstacles to peace, and to the success of the Palestinian people." [3]

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