the essence of democracy

Bill writes, in response to my earlier post about neocons and neowilsons:

(Aziz wrote:) "After American-directed regime change of a nation, and installation of democratic machinery for self-government, should the people of that nation be allowed to elect an anti-American leader?" The neocons will say "No." and the neowilsons will say "Yes".

I think this is an oversimplification, because it doesn't take into account the idea that many anti-American leaders could also be hostile to the very democratic machinery that brought them to power. Having gone to great lengths to fight a war, topple a leader, rebuild the country, and install democratic machinery, should the United States walk away from -- to use a current example -- Iraq if a dictator in the mold of Saddam Hussein achieves power and suspends elections? Would Aziz's neo-Wilsonian accept such a result? I'm not entirely comfortable with his labels, but what he calls a neo-conservative, he says, would not. Of the two views, which is preferable?

If we achieve regime change in another country, and install democratic machinery, and the people of that nation USE the democratic machinery to vote into power someone who is freely elected but anti-American, then that is one thing. The scenario that Bill describes, where a powermonger grabs control and brushes aside the machinery of democracy that we have installed, is quite another.

Both scenarios are intolerable to neoconservatives. Only the latter is intolerable to a neowilsonian.

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