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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Sunday, January 29, 2006

The problem with democracy

Robert Fisk, The Independent, January 28:

"Oh no, not more democracy again! Didn't we award this to those Algerians in 1990? And didn't they reward us with that nice gift of an Islamist government - and then they so benevolently cancelled the second round of elections? Thank goodness for that!

"True, the Afghans elected a round of representatives, albeit that they included some warlords and murderers. But then the Iraqis last year elected the Dawa party to power in Baghdad, which was responsible - let us not speak this in Washington - for most of the kidnappings of Westerners in Beirut in the 1980s, the car bombing of the (late) Emir and the US and French embassies in Kuwait.

"And now, horror of horrors, the Palestinians have elected the wrong party to power. They were supposed to have given their support to the friendly, pro-Western, corrupt, absolutely pro-American Fatah, which had promised to "control" them, rather than to Hamas, which said they would represent them. And, bingo, they have chosen the wrong party again.

Result: 76 out of 132 seats. That just about does it. God damn that democracy. What are we to do with people who don't vote the way they should?"


Blogger weekbyweek said...

This selective quotation reveals Fisk to be an anti-democrat!

Sunday, January 29, 2006 12:23:00 pm  
Blogger Aaron Lane said...

Anthony, you are utterly hypocritical. When Palestinians elect a mob of terrorists to power, you say the will of the people is sacrosanct. When Australia elects John Howard to power, however, you begin bemoaning the death of democracy, and start castigating the nation for its stupidity. Why not just be frank? The reason you are not criticising the Palestinians' election of Hamas (except in the most gentle terms) is because to do so would align you with most Western governments and commentators, and you hate Western governments and commentators more than Palestinian terrorists.

Sunday, January 29, 2006 6:26:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

Hrm. We should call that phenomenon the "Kingston effect". You know how it goes - the party she and the rest of the chattering classes don't like keep winning federal elections. Suddenly democracy's dying and needs protection!

Sunday, January 29, 2006 6:54:00 pm  
Blogger Aaron Lane said...

I happen to think that the Howard government is far from beyond reproach in some of the things it's done, but compare the way in which Anthony speaks about it with how he writes about Hamas. Hamas gets praise for not explicitly referring during the election campaign to its pledge to wipe Israel off the map. Do you think that if an Australian political party had a manifesto which advocated the extermination of a particular ethnic group Anthony would offer them (albeit qualified) support, no matter what issues it based its campaign on?

Monday, January 30, 2006 1:52:00 am  

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