Double Standards for Dictators

October 5th, 2007 - by admin

R. Sohrabi-Nik / Mehn News Agency – 2007-10-05 22:58:19

TEHRAN, Oct. 5 (MNA) — If US President George W. Bush and former British prime minister Tony Blair were the leaders of two Third World countries and were found guilty of the war crimes the two have committed over the past few years, it would not come as a surprise.

Third World countries have suffered under the rule of brutal dictators like Saddam Hussein, who massacred his own people with chemical weapons and launched wars of aggression against two neighboring countries in which about two million people lost their lives.

There are leaders in these countries who let their people starve while they allocate funds to programs to develop nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. There are leaders who come to power overnight through military coups. There are leaders who have been in power for decades. There are leaders who simply inherit power. Often a president stays in power by “winning” an election in which he is the only candidate.

All these leaders can do whatever they like because they come to power by force, public opinion means nothing to them, and there is no mechanism to hold them accountable. They are a law unto themselves.

If Bush and Blair were leaders of Third World countries, no one would bat an eye.

But, Bush, who is the president of one of the most important democracies in the world, and Blair, who was the prime minister of the country called the Mother of Parliaments, launched wars that caused the death of over one million civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001.

They have plunged the world into the fire of a fabricated “war on terrorism”. Initially, they said they wanted to catch Osama bin Laden “dead or alive”. But six years after 9/11, Bin Laden is not only alive and free, but honing his public relations skills in cyberspace and sending out new video messages which are being broadcast by various television networks.

Is it really so difficult for the United States and Britain to locate the world’s most wanted man?

Bin Laden is still out there. Al-Qaeda, the CIA tells us, has regrouped and is itching to launch another attack. And yet, paradoxically, a senior adviser to Bush recently called Bin Laden impotent.

Even the most naive cannot believe this kind of charade.

It is common knowledge that the foreign troops in the Middle East are desperately trying to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Rarely does a day pass in which dozens of Iraqi people are not killed. Four years ago, Bush and his allies claimed that they had to topple Saddam because he possessed weapons of mass destruction and therefore was a threat to world peace.

However, they not only failed to find any WMDs in Iraq but also seriously set back efforts to establish world peace, perhaps for decades.

The typical Third World despot violates human rights and uses demagoguery to deceive the people.

In less developed countries, building democracy is an ongoing process which is still incomplete in most states. Thus, it is not hard to imagine what the whims of a ruler can bring about, especially when he feels no pressure or restrictions from the people or the law.

But Bush and Blair did not come to power by force. They did not carry out military coups. They did not inherit power. Neither of them was the only candidate in an election.

They were elected by the people!

This is the great irony. It is said that the people in Western countries oversee the activities of their elected officials through checks and balances that keep them in line. Westerners brag that this is the meaning of democracy and say the West observes the rule of law.

All the presidents of the United States, except George H. W. Bush (the elder), were elected to a governmental post before becoming president. This seems to indicate that it is not easy to climb the ladder of power to the top without public approval.

But how were people like Bush and Blair allowed to take the steering wheel in such important countries?

Some say that leaders like Bush and Blair are not as bad as the media makes them appear, although this argument does not hold water.

Others say the people in Western countries are just like their leaders since they elect their favorite candidates. But opinion polls show that most people in the West disapprove of the record of their leading officials.

According to another theory, Western leaders are able to take power because they only work for the benefit of Westerners and do not care about other people. If this is true, Western democracy is only for prosperous Westerners and has no respect for non-Westerners, the poor, and the weak.

Or maybe Western officials come to power through fraud and vote-rigging, in which case their democracy is just a sham, manipulated by puppet masters with goals more horrific than the purported plans of the dictators they use as their front men.

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