Democracy/Human Rights Not Obama’s Priority

An excellent summation by the Wall Street Journal:

The most surprising thing about the first half-year of Barack Obama’s presidency, at least in the realm of foreign policy, has been its indifference to the issues of human rights and democracy.

……The new president signaled his intent on the eve of his inauguration, when he told editors of the Washington Post that democracy was less important than “freedom from want and freedom from fear. If people aren’t secure, if people are starving, then elections may or may not address those issues, but they are not a perfect overlay.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton followed suit, in opening testimony at her Senate confirmation hearings. As summed up by the Post’s Fred Hiatt, Clinton “invoked just about every conceivable goal but democracy promotion. Building alliances, fighting terror, stopping disease, promoting women’s rights, nurturing prosperity—but hardly a peep about elections, human rights, freedom, liberty or self-rule.”

A few days after being sworn in, President Obama pointedly gave his first foreign press interview to the Saudi-owned Arabic-language satellite network, Al-Arabiya. The interview was devoted entirely to U.S. relations with the Middle East and the broader Muslim world, and through it all Obama never mentioned democracy or human rights.

Obama seems to believe that democracy is overrated, or at least overvalued. When asked about the subject in his pre-inaugural interview with the Washington Post, Obama said that he is more concerned with “actually delivering a better life for people on the ground and less obsessed with form, more concerned with substance.” He elaborated on this thought during his April visit to Strasbourg, France:

We spend so much time talking about democracy—and obviously we should be promoting democracy everywhere we can. But democracy, a well-functioning society that promotes liberty and equality and fraternity, does not just depend on going to the ballot box. It also means that you’re not going to be shaken down by police because the police aren’t getting properly paid. It also means that if you want to start a business, you don’t have to pay a bribe. I mean, there are a whole host of other factors that people need . . . to recognize in building a civil society that allows a country to be successful.

Whether or not the President was aware of it, he was echoing a theme first propounded long ago by Soviet propagandists and later sung in many variations by all manner of Third World dictators, Left to Right. It has long since been discredited by a welter of research showing that democracies perform better in fostering economic and social well being, keeping the peace, and averting catastrophes. Never mind that it is untoward for a President of the United States to speak of democracy as a mere “form,” less important than substance.
Read the rest here:

If there was any doubt as to Obama’s hostility toward the fostering of freedom, you need look  no further than his belligerent socialist approach to what was once American free enterprise,  his foreign policy  ‘actions’ on Iran and Hondruras, and his Apology Tour though Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.

Communism may be in death throes in other countries, but it’s finally taking over in the United States.

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