If we were employed by any government agency engaged in the sales and marketing of Democracy and Freedom, we’d be worried about the impending pink slips. It appears prospective customers are lining up around the globe for this stuff. It’s amazing how fickle the world can be, at times.
In the old days, we’d have to stomp all over the planet hawking the features and benefits of Democracy like a snake oil pitchman. We would tirelessly, soft and hard sell clusters of weary malcontents, scattered about with promises of normalcy through equality that Democracy inherently brings.
We invested billions in highlighting the advantages of freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the indispensability of a free press. When we brought out the closer -the value of human dignity - we thought the Arab world was going to drop to its feet with praise and acceptance.
Not three years ago, you couldn’t sell the concept of freedom to those in the Middle East at any price. America damn near had to shove Democracy down the throat of Iraq by invading their country, deposing and disposing of their dictator, while setting up a nationalist government replete with elections at the cost of trillions to the US taxpayer.
Unfortunately, for some ungodly reason, they just didn’t bite. Perhaps, the only problem with our perfect pitch for Democracy in the past was marred by the cost. Delivery was always conditional upon the unfettered access to the prospective client’s natural resources.
And now, inexplicably, Arab states are literally pleading and bleeding for just a taste of the dignity that floods the soul and the senses from Democratic principles. Democracy has seemingly hit the Arab street like a genetically designed super drug.
Hence, the recent thirst for Democracy is only exceeded by our inability to meet the challenge of delivery. But as gleeful as we should be, we must be mindful that some, hungering for this thing called Freedom, might want theirs in a different flavor. Perhaps America was only pushing vanilla, when chocolate, strawberry and pistachio were favored.
Maybe one size Democracy doesn’t fit all. Consider the Israelis for instance. They claim to be the only Democracy in their region, but Israel’s version is hardly a direct comparison to that of the good old USA’s. Ask any Arab living in Israel and see what they’ll tell you.
Nevertheless, the demand for what America stands for is huge. New orders are coming in daily. Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Algeria and Saudi Arabia have all rushed to Democracy’s window of thirty-one flavors. Willing to pay with blood, Arab youth have signed up to spend dangerous nights in the streets for their first version of Democracy, like an American would at an Apple store anticipating a product launch. Sales have never been so good.
But despite an adequate supply, the idiots in Congress could foul up democracy’s delivery supply chain. Instead of focusing on generating policies to put America back to work, Congressional morons are meddling in foreign policy issues far too fluid, complicated and diverse for them to comprehend.
Stupidly running about like Chicken Little, chirping, “OMG what now, who is next, why these rebels and not those protestors”, Congress and the domestic media that informs them, lack the capacity of absorbing more than one pixel of an expanding mosaic at a time. At the rate those on Capital Hill are capable of responding to the speed of change, they are proving to be nothing more than a tragic impediment to world progress.
In the President’s speech tonight, he’ll be smart to lay out a basic template of future US emergency interventions, based upon a prioritization of individual need, circumstance and humanitarian conditions. The concept of warring, as we’ve known it, is not this presidency’s mode of operation.
He may have to prepare the nation and world, for hopscotch of missions throughout a patchwork of Arab nations and beyond, as events present themselves. He must be the purveyor of a “new/fresh” global approach to international problem solving. As nations’ interests become more interlocked with one another, progressive crisis management methods must be adopted to reflect the world as it turns today.
The President can use this opportunity to introduce the Obama Global Conflict Resolution Doctrine. Reliance on the US to assume the lion’s share of any military or humanitarian burden is the standard operating procedure of yesteryear. Save for exceptional circumstances, America’s unilateral military option is no longer considered a preference. Moving forward, each nation will be responsible for contributing their own unique capabilities to assist in any given conflict and or crisis.
The future of international disputes or internal civil strife will be addressed in an international forum, with respective regional neighbors taking the lead to defuse and or circumvent violent confrontations. Predetermined thresholds of incompliance with international law will automatically trigger a quick response from the world community of nation states. All nations will be held to one single standard of humanity, including heretofore teacher’s pets like Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The global community will hold any nation accountable for failing to afford all civilians within their borders basic universal rights. Barack Obama must rebrand himself as the humanitarian the Nobel Peace Prize Committee awarded him for preemptively.
At the same time, Congress must be reminded that the geopolitical landscape is reshaping itself by the minute and no policy developed today will necessarily be viable tomorrow. If they are looking for simple answers to questions that have never been asked before, they’ll just have to wait and watch with the rest of the world, as more nimble minds manage these transitions.
When you’re navigating in uncharted territory, you have to be clever enough to stay loose, while being wise enough to remain connected.