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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Friday, October 06, 2006

Who lost Nicaragua?

By Oliver North

"WASHINGTON, D.C. -- During the 1980 presidential campaign, Republicans pointed out that Jimmy Carter had 'lost Nicaragua' to communism. The 1979 Sandinista 'Revolution Without Frontiers' led by Daniel Ortega was just one of many foreign policy disasters during the Carter administration -- and Ronald Reagan assured Americans that such things wouldn't happen on his 'watch.' Unfortunately, Reagan is gone, and today Nicaragua looks like a case of 'back to the future.'

On Nov. 5 -- just two days before our own mid-term congressional elections -- the people of Nicaragua will cast ballots for a new president. Friends of democracy in Latin America have been stunned by new polls showing that Ortega -- the ardent Marxist who once ruled Managua with a Soviet-backed iron fist -- is again poised to take control of government, a decade and a half after U.S.-backed freedom fighters succeeded in ousting him from power. If he wins, Ortega will have key regional allies -- men who, by themselves, present no immediate threat to our security but who, together, could create problems aplenty for the United States and its democratic Latin American allies."

Ollie points out that his (Ortega) backers have learned how to use the democratic process, i.e. elections, for their gain. In like manner, we have Hugo Chavez, seeped in dollars from Venezuelan oil production, spreading his anti-American rhetoric with the approval of his Cuban buddy Castro. Then we have Evo Morales, president of Bolivia, who, after spending just two months in office following his election, had their constitution rewritten in order to give himself authoritarian powers. We also have a big lefty in Ecuador, Rafael Correa running for president, and is apparently the front runnner for their upcoming October 15th elections. If he wins, he has promised to "re-found" the nation, patterning itself after Bolivia and Venezuela.

Why do I bring this up? Isn't democracy supposed to be good? Well, yes, it can be. But it doesn't guarantee anything. It reminds me of the quote I posted back in the middle of August:
"Not all democracies are created equal. The customs and traditions of a society matter as much as its mode of government. It may be true that all people yearn for freedom, but history shows that some people yearn for the freedom to go forth and kill their neighbors... In other words, democracy isn't bulletproof. Instances of disastrous democracy extend back to ancient times. Athens voted to attack Syracuse. It was a grinding, terrible defeat that spelled the beginning of the end for Athens in the Peloponnesian War. And, to leap to the 20th century, let's remember that the Germans voted the Nazi Party into power; we all know how that turned out."
— by Jonathan Last

Ollie North goes on to say, "Like Adolf Hitler, the anti-American leftists in Latin America are using elections -- not revolutions or military coups -- to take and then solidify power. It's a tactic that seems to have escaped the striped-pants set in our State Department. Until this week's visit to the region by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the State Department's response to the threatening leftward turn to our south -- and a Sandinista return to power -- has been both flat-footed and tone deaf."

The question I have been pondering for awhile, and I guess it is really a chicken or the egg question, "What comes first? Democracy (through fair elections) or societal transformation?" My current belief is the latter and I think the developments in Central America supports my current position.

Read the rest of Oliver North's column here.


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