US belies sham of 'Western democracy'

2021-01-20 12:06:55

The White House in Washington DC. [Photo/Agencies] After last year's election in the United States, president-elect Joe Biden said it is necessary to strengthen the traditional Western alliance led by the US, and the concept of "liberty" and "democracy" globally. Some of his advisers have said that the incoming Biden administration will devise his policy toward China based on shared values. However, for US leaders, popularizing "Western democracy" is never a fresh idea. At the beginning of this century, then US president George W. Bush had planned "a new world order", which he tried to implement in the Middle East after the Sept 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. But his attempts failed and the US suffered greatly in its military intervention in the Middle East. Even Donald Rumsfeld, former US secretary of defense, said it was unwise to impose US-style democracy in the Middle East. Under the Barack Obama administration, the US Department of State raised the idea of uniting their "democracies", too, but they could not reach a consensus on which countries should be included. But US history is replete with instances when it hasn't acted in a democratic manner. Many native Indians were massacred soon after the US' founding in 1776. African-Americans did not get their rights mentioned in the law books until the 1970s. The US' undemocratic ways continue even now. The horrors of Guantanamo Bay are still fresh. Through its Prism project, the US has been capturing private data online of citizens not linked in any way to terrorism or any wrongdoing. In 2014, US unmanned aerial vehicles struck and killed 1,147 people, many of them civilians, in Pakistan and Yemen. Besides, isn't Edward Snowden still in exile because he exposed how his government was wiretapping its own citizens and leaders of foreign countries? If the incoming Biden administration wants to indulge in the same "democracy" diplomacy, it would do well to first clean up its own mess or risk becoming a laughing stock. -ZHANG ZHIXIN, CHINA INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS