President Obama, Say The ‘D-Word’

Egyptian Protests

Photo: Muhammad Ghafari. Giza, Egypt (CC)

Mark LeVine writes on Al Jazeera:

It’s incredible, really. The president of the United States can’t bring himself to talk about democracy in the Middle East. He can dance around it, use euphemisms, throw out words like “freedom” and “tolerance” and “non-violent” and especially “reform,” but he can’t say the one word that really matters: democracy.

How did this happen? After all, in his famous 2009 Cairo speech to the Muslim world, Obama spoke the word loudly and clearly — at least once.

“The fourth issue that I will address is democracy,” he declared, before explaining that while the United States won’t impose its own system, it was committed to governments that “reflect the will of the people… I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere.”

“No matter where it takes hold,” the president concluded, “government of the people and by the people sets a single standard for all who hold power.”

Read More on Al Jazeera

, , , , , ,

  • Hadrian999

    the funny thing about democracy is it can go more than one way, the U.S. government doesn’t like that,
    the U.S. government only likes governments that democratically decide to do what washington tells them to do.

  • Hadrian999

    the funny thing about democracy is it can go more than one way, the U.S. government doesn’t like that,
    the U.S. government only likes governments that democratically decide to do what washington tells them to do.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Theres a vast gulf of difference between actual democracy and the word that DC beltway boys use off and on…if they’re a little sketchy about using the word there’s a reason for it…the US pretty much hates actual democracy…democracy is disruptive, cantankerous and obstinate…while bureaucratic authoritarian regimes with a top down command structure are easy to negotiate with and effective at getting things done on a timeline. People wonder why the US backs so many brutal dictators…in a nutshell, its easier to bribe one guy than argue with an entire parliament…thus, we hate democracy. Obama or Bush, Reagan or Clinton…it doesn’t matter who holds the center stage at the moment…our military industrial complex and business role on the world stage dictates our actions now…and people who don’t pay along cheerily don’t reach the upper stratospheres of power.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Theres a vast gulf of difference between actual democracy and the word that DC beltway boys use off and on…if they’re a little sketchy about using the word there’s a reason for it…the US pretty much hates actual democracy…democracy is disruptive, cantankerous and obstinate…while bureaucratic authoritarian regimes with a top down command structure are easy to negotiate with and effective at getting things done on a timeline. People wonder why the US backs so many brutal dictators…in a nutshell, its easier to bribe one guy than argue with an entire parliament…thus, we hate democracy. Obama or Bush, Reagan or Clinton…it doesn’t matter who holds the center stage at the moment…our military industrial complex and business role on the world stage dictates our actions now…and people who don’t pay along cheerily don’t reach the upper stratospheres of power.

  • hunter349

    Why is he upset over not hearing the word Democracy? It seems like another petty thing to latch onto and bash Obama for. There are actual things to complain about but that would require admitting that it is both sides fault and not solely one sided.
    We don’t even have a true Democracy. We have a Republic. And when voting for president our votes don’t technically count. The guy who wins the popular vote does not always become president. Even if your state votes a certain way the electoral college doesn’t have to vote for the winner of the election (they almost always do though). I would be careful of pushing the word Democracy around when we so clearly need to work on our own.

    It’s not worth going too far into though as this is clearly a cheap jab like “why is Obama afraid to deregulate the entire financial system and allow coal companies to to use child labor? Is it because he hates America and wants to have it run by communist polar bears?”

    • Hadrian999

      I think it is more of an attack on american hypocrisy than on obama himself,
      we talk a lot about democracy, rule of law, transparency, and democracy yet tend to prop up dictators, subvert the will of the people, operate in the shadows and ignore our own laws, and try to prosecute or assassinate anyone that says anything about it, can you really wave the banner of democracy then rendition people off to black prisons to be tortured?

      • hunter349

        Good point. Also we are now all probably on the no – fly list for having read an article from Al Jazeera. lol.

  • Anonymous

    Why is he upset over not hearing the word Democracy? It seems like another petty thing to latch onto and bash Obama for. There are actual things to complain about but that would require admitting that it is both sides fault and not solely one sided.
    We don’t even have a true Democracy. We have a Republic. And when voting for president our votes don’t technically count. The guy who wins the popular vote does not always become president. Even if your state votes a certain way the electoral college doesn’t have to vote for the winner of the election (they almost always do though). I would be careful of pushing the word Democracy around when we so clearly need to work on our own.

    It’s not worth going too far into though as this is clearly a cheap jab like “why is Obama afraid to deregulate the entire financial system and allow coal companies to to use child labor? Is it because he hates America and wants to have it run by communist polar bears?”

  • Andrew

    Obama can’t criticize Mubarak too much because Egypt’s one of the places he renditions “suspected terrorists” to to be tortured.

  • Andrew

    Obama can’t criticize Mubarak too much because Egypt’s one of the places he renditions “suspected terrorists” to to be tortured.

  • MoxAmok

    Democracy is bullshit. I’d rather be free than ruled by the majority.

    Democracy is not a goal, it’s a very flawed means for achieving a goal of freedom, and a great means of quelling opposition (by giving a false sense of participation) and ushering in socialism.

  • MoxAmok

    Democracy is bullshit. I’d rather be free than ruled by the majority.

    Democracy is not a goal, it’s a very flawed means for achieving a goal of freedom, and a great means of quelling opposition (by giving a false sense of participation) and ushering in socialism.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention President Obama, Say The ‘D-Word’ | Disinformation -- Topsy.com()

  • Hadrian999

    I think it is more of an attack on american hypocrisy than on obama himself,
    we talk a lot about democracy, rule of law, transparency, and democracy yet tend to prop up dictators, subvert the will of the people, operate in the shadows and ignore our own laws, and try to prosecute or assassinate anyone that says anything about it, can you really wave the banner of democracy then rendition people off to black prisons to be tortured?

  • Anonymous

    Good point. Also we are now all probably on the no – fly list for having read an article from Al Jazeera. lol.

21