December 26, 2004

Vintage Year For Democracy

The obvious examples of democracy at work in 2004 are Afghanistan and Iraq, but here Ralph Peters cites some of the less reported ones. As Ukraine and Venezuela demonstrate, it isn't always pretty...

Half a world away, the people of bitterly poor Mozambique flocked to the polls in December. The results favored sweat-of-the-brow progress over demagoguery. One of the world's poorest nations, Mozambique stood up proudly to prove that democracy isn't only for the Upper West Side. The media ignored this triumph of the human spirit.

In Venezuela, a referendum supported President Hugo Chavez, a man viewed by Washington as Castro-lite (with oil). Despite balloting mischief, the people spoke. We must respect their choice. Building global democracy isn't about short-term gratification for American presidential administrations, Republican or Democrat. It's about freedom, with all of its risks, errors and ultimate glory.

Even when we believe a foreign population has made the wrong choice, we should be grateful that they were able to make a choice at all. In the long run, democracy always benefits the United States of America. Patience is the one strategic virtue we need to cultivate.

Posted by dan at December 26, 2004 12:23 PM