Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Dictators Never Learn

What is it with Obama and the world's dictators? Is it news to him that dictators oppose democracy, freedom, capitalism, pluralism and general prosperity because those factors are bad for guys who are into oppressive domination of hapless populations?

Americans have the quaint idea that putting the bad kids in a class with good kids will result in some of the good rubbing off on the bad. Has this idea ever worked? Will the thugs running North Korea learn any lessons from South Korea and Japan? The Korean War ended 56 years ago. Will North Korea ever admit something's not working? Will the world ever concede that Dear Leader is a psychopath?

Meanwhile, what process usually brings a major overhaul to poor governmental practices? Lots of people like to claim War is Not the Answer. But history says it is. Moreover, history suggests that without gunfire, dictators will continue to dictate and oppress millions -- actually billions -- of unfortunate people. Furthermore, history shows that gunfire is a common element to regime change, that is, changing one dictator for another.

Therefore, if democracy, freedom, capitalism, pluralism and prosperity are to arrive, the gunfire has to come from those who believe in them. It's nothing but naive wishfulness to hope that Muslims in the middle east or thugs in Africa are going to embrace high-minded goals aimed at lifting billions out of misery and poverty. Sadly, Obama, as the following article shows, is willing to improve life for dictators

US President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States cannot impose its values on other countries, but argued that principles such as democracy and the rule of law were universal.
In an interview with the BBC ahead of a visit first to Saudi Arabia and Egypt and then Europe, Obama said the United States must lead by example -- which firstly meant closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp on Cuba.

"The danger I think is when the United States or any country thinks that we can simply impose these values on another country with a different history and a different culture," the president told the broadcaster.

But he stressed: "Democracy, rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of religion -- those are not simply principles of the West to be hoisted on these countries, but rather what I believe to be universal principles that they can embrace and affirm as part of their national identity."

Obama said he would be "encouraging" countries on his trip to promote these values, but added: "I think the thing that we can do most importantly is serve as a good role model.

"And that's why closing Guantanamo, from my perspective, as difficult as it is, is important.

"Because part of what we want to affirm to the world is that these are values that are important even when it's hard, even especially when it's hard, and not just when it's easy."

Obama has vowed to close the camp by January 22, 2010, but his plans have faced reluctance from other countries to take in the prisoners and stern domestic opposition to transferring them to US soil.

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