Monday, July 22, 2024

Silencing the West

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While the US state department spokesman John Kirby criticised a journalist for questioning the condition of democracy in India, it doesn’t change the fact of the horrible deeds committed by West in the name of human rights and democracy promotion

It came as a sheer surprise. The US state department spokesman John Kirby lambasted a journalist, asking the person in question to visit New Delhi and see the condition of India’s democracy for herself during a question-answer session. This was preceded by Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the US, where he publicly questioned India’s democratic credentials under the Modi regime. However, putting aside the domestic mudslinging, the west’s hypocrisy on the issue of questioning democracy in the Oriental world is exposed through their own terrible track record of wanton human rights violation, death, destruction and carnage.

This is particularly true of USA. The most powerful country in the world in terms of economic and military indicators is a hypocrite to the core.

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Norman Lowe in his book Mastering World History notes that in the name of promoting the values of liberty, equality and fraternity, the US played the role of the world policeman who is a typical manifestation of the playground bully. “Either you are with us, or against us” said George Bush (the junior bush) on the eve of launching attack in Afghanistan to root out the Taliban which was providing shelter to the Al Qaeda operatives including Osama Bin Laden.

However, the US and allies particularly Britain have wrecked havoc in the name of democracy promotion. USA first intervened in Vietnam in order to prevent the spread of communism and for promoting democracy, its intervention, however, came at a terrible cost to the Vietnamese people and economy. The net result- America in an act of sheer cowardice withdrew from Vietnam in 1975. The same result was repeated in Iraq, this time with the aim of overthrowing Saddam Hussein who was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. The Americans and British, however, used the WMD presence as a false pretext to launch the Operation Iraqi Freedom, the result is that Iraq continues to suffer from a broken economy, sectarian strife, religious extremism etc.

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Libya- another failed state

Perhaps the biggest and most blatant display of western hypocrisy in democracy promotion was in Libya, in which the West passed UN Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973 to protect the Libyan people and teach Muammar Gaddafi a lesson invoking in the process, the Responsibility to Protect clause (R2P). NATO intervened in the 2011 Libyan civil war and conducted devastating air campaigns against Gaddafi troops. However, the campaign was botched up, not only because it targeted civilian areas but also supplied arms to the rebels who themselves conducted large scale human rights violation. The western intervention not only led to the killing of Gaddafi, in the process destabilising the state apparatus but contributed directly to the rise of ISIL and Libyan Dawn as terror groups in the region.

India-democracy preserver

India, on the other hand has never ever, invaded another country in its long history. The Indian military intervention in Maldives, was, however, to prevent the usurpation of Maldivian democracy by a military coup in 1988. PM Modi was right in highlighting the fact that India is the mother of democracy. The earliest republics were found in India, even before the Greek city state of Athens, which is considered to be the embodiment of democracy for the first time in the western world.

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It is good that the west is introspecting its role in democracy promotion, but words are at best empty platitudes, the West must demonstrate, through credible actions, that they no longer preach democracy promotion in sovereign countries.

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