It always struck me as incongruous that democracy (and not demoncracy which I usually typo) has been imposed on so many sovereign states through Western Imperialism (mostly the US). The most recent examples are Iraq and Afghanistan, but there is a lovely trail of US led, Western imperialism, democracy imposition (the right type of democracy) in other nations, such as Vietnam and South America.
It’s always seemed really odd that you can invade another nation, tell them that they’re doing government wrong, and then hang around while they do it to your standards (and I’m not a fan of US democracy anyway). How can you impose democracy? Isn’t that an oxymoron?
What has struck me about the past month and a bit is the both the people’s uprisings in northern Africa and parts of the Middle East, and the uncertainty of the US and back-footed response of the UN. Clearly the US had vested interests in the various regimes as they were. Egypt’s Mubarak was a useful ally, so little attention to was given to human rights violations or the wishes of the Egyptian citizens. Yemen is an ally in “the war on terror”, so the current regime has been propped up using rhetoric that Al-Qaeda is based in Yemen (it may or may not be, I don’t know). Libya is different again, with a great friend in Italy, and defrosting relationships with much of Europe – though I don’t think anyone expected Gadaffi to go quite off the rails the way he has.
I’m in awe of the courage that the regular people in Libya, Tunisia, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Algeria, and Morocco (list may not be exhaustive), are displaying as they take on their regimes, as they watch their fellow countrymen be beaten, killed or arrested, for standing up and demanding a better say, less corruption, and more rights than they currently have. I’m honoured to be able to hear their stories and watch them fight for democracy. I’m amazed at how technology is being used for good (and not just for spying on citizens).
I am living in an amazing time, and I hope that my brothers and sisters who are fighting for democracy get everything they want, that the civil war in Libya ends quickly and that further violence is minimised.