The mantra of every American politician on the issue of foreign affairs is that they’ll lead America as the beacon of democracy so that others may emulate. In most recent times, politicians have been trying to spread “democracy” throughout the Middle East and North Africa. But should we, or is the Middle East better off under stable, yet brutual, authoritarian regimes?
While people like Gaddafi or Hussein weren’t angels, their respective rules were a lot more stable and peaceful than what’s happening in their countries now. The lack of effective leadership and governance in Libya and Iraq has created power vacuums with terrorists and clans claiming power.
The Middle East is not ready for democracy. The region has neither the economic conditions nor the cultural values to sustain a liberal democracy. And it’s not just that region, many nations in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America have failed democracies that many times leads to a new authoritarian rule because they lack the prerequisites for a liberal one. Case in point, Chavez and Maduro in Venezuela.
US support for destabilizing forces in the region like the Syrian rebels, only puts our people in danger by creating a hotbed for terrorism.And also pushes a nation backwards from their path to a more liberal government.
In an ideal world everyone would share the values of secularism, private property, and freedom of speech. But such a world does not exist and minds aren’t easily swayed. For pragmatic purposes, our foreign policy must focus on stability and order, not humanitarian ideals, to keep not only our nation safe but others too.