Pat Buchanan: Democratic ideals vs. the United State's vital interests
Having won the presidency of Egypt in free and fair elections after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, President Mohammed Morsi has been ousted in a military coup and placed under house arrest. Brotherhood leaders, convicted of no crimes, are being rounded up.
Nor is this the first perceived betrayal. When Hamas won the free elections demanded by George W. Bush, America refused to recognize their legitimacy and plotted the violent overthrow of Hamas in Gaza.
If Muslims have come to believe that Americans preaching democracy are charlatans and hypocrites, do they not have a point? U.S. foreign policy once seemed to make sense. We put vital interests ahead of democratist ideology. We stood by those who stood by us. We did not spend time inspecting the moral credentials of those who took America's side. We played the cards we were dealt in this world.
In 1917, Woodrow Wilson took us to war "to make the world safe for democracy" as an associate power of five empires — the British, French, Italian, Russian and Japanese. At war's end, Wilson signed treaties that plundered the lands and colonies of the three defeated empires, for the benefit of the victorious empires.
In the Cold War, Dwight Eisenhower sanctioned the overthrow of democratic governments in Guatemala and Iran and their replacement by autocrats who would take our side in the struggle for the world.
Among other U.S. allies in the Cold War were Asian dictators and generals Chiang Kai-shek of China, Syngman Rhee and Park Chung-hee of South Korea, and Suharto of Indonesia.
What is the cause of our present angst over what is happening in Cairo? Our democratist ideals appear to have been run over by U.S. armored personnel carriers driven by Egyptian soldiers trained by the U.S. Army. Whether or not our interests have been advanced, our ideals seem to have been wounded.
Testifying to this truth is the tape of Secretary of State John Kerry inspecting his yacht off Nantucket as the Egyptian regime fell, and Obama, after a brief National Security Council conclave, heading off for the golf course on the July 4 weekend, then on to Camp David.
"Masterly inactivity" is our role, said Calhoun. Added Clay, "Avoiding the distant wars of Europe, we should keep our lamp burning brightly on this Western shore as a light to all the nations than to hazard its utter extinction amid the ruins of fallen or falling republics."
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