Democracy Because I Say So

by Philip Greenspan

September 9, 2002


When I see my grandchildren refuse to eat the good nutritious food that is offered them but opt instead for the junk foods, candies and sweets, it reminds me of the days when I was a kid. I was pretty much doing the same thing! Mom was always upset. She knew best but I was too stubborn to listen.

An analogy may be drawn between the knowledgeable mom and the undisciplined child, and the US and the rest of the world today. Kindly Uncle Sam knows what's best and so many of these other countries just won't listen to his solemn message.

They should all live under democracy. That is the ideal form of government. None of the systems they have been trying will yield the wonderful benefits available to them if only they do as he insists.

They must realize, however, that just because they have chosen their government in free elections in which all of their citizens have voted does not necessarily mean that they are truly living in a democracy. Well, at least not a democracy as it should be.

Remember, for instance, the election in Chile that had an avowed socialist running for president (Salvador Allende)? Now how could you possibly believe that any country that would permit such an election would foster our kind of democracy? Henry Kissinger felt compelled to exclaim "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people." And when, unbelievably, those foolish people actually elected Allende, President Nixon ordered the CIA to "Make the economy scream."

Now Uncle Sam has like mama been trying ever so hard to get those poor people around the world to listen. After all, the United States knows all about democracy. It invented democracy back in 1776. It has all the patents, copyrights and trademarks on all the legitimate forms of democracy. It is not as simple as some might imagine to install the right kind of democracy. There are many nuances and factors that must be considered. For instance, substantial contributions from sources interested in specific legislation is entirely proper; proportional representative should not be permitted; voting machines in subversive areas should not function properly; at times, the highest court in the land should determine the winner of democratic elections.

Cuba is a perfect example of what is lost when the right kind of democracy no longer exists. Just take a look. Free enterprise as known in the United States is gone. No one can form a corporation and with his entrepreneurial skill aspire to become a wealthy man and create a Microsoft, an Exxon, an Enron, or a World Com; and hire and fire people as he desires; and extract millions that have been placed in his care by his creditors, employees and investors. He cannot become a landlord of large commercial properties and farms, charge whatever rents he desires and force out the small family farmers. And don't forget all the government benefits that may be bestowed on his deserving corporation.

And what have the Cubans gotten in return? Universal health care that has substantially increased life expectancy, an education system that has raised literacy throughout the country, a home for everyone...

Now those supposed benefits are not all they may seem. They do not have the right to select the health care specialist that can be obtained in the right kind of democracy if you can afford to pay for it, of course. You cannot go to the private school of your choice if you can afford to pay for it, of course. And you cannot live in a most luxurious home with tremendous and well-maintained grounds if you can afford to pay for it, of course.

Now papas as well as mamas are also thinking of the best for their children. But those children are often stubborn and do not listen. Those old fashioned papas knew how to get a proper response from those disobedient children. "Spare the rod and spoil the child" was the appropriate formula.

For his next project kindly Uncle Sam is considering bringing the right kind of democracy to a country whose people are literally starving -- not for his kind of democracy but because of his instigated decade-long economic sanctions. Whether they want it or not, like those unruly children, he intends to give it to them. Oh boy, is he going to give it to them!

He is assiduously searching for the ideal candidate to replace that dastardly Saddam Hussein (whom Sam originally helped to put into his present position and for many years prior to the Gulf War was most supportive of all the bum desired, providing him with most of the weapons of mass destruction that are now considered verboten in his hands).

The successful candidate will be someone that everyone will just love, or had better love, because he will get a sterling buildup in the media once he has been chosen. He will not permit a breakup of the country so that the Kurds in the north and Shiites in the south could enjoy their own government. No, it will be a Sunni Moslem so that that small ten percent sect can adequately control the country. He will open up the wealth of its minerals (primarily oil) to western investors. He will not act like that present tyrant who thinks that the wealth should belong to Iraq.

So the good people of Iraq should know that when their good benevolent uncle Sammy sends his nephews (some of whom will be sacrificing their lives) to bomb the shit out of you -- yes, he's been doing it for the last eleven years -- that's just a sample -- you haven't learned your lesson yet -- remember, he's doing it for your own good. As his niece Madeleine Albright -- when asked in 1996, about the half million Iraqi children that had died as a result of Uncle Sam's instigated sanctions -- replied, and you can be certain she will repeat it after your upcoming punishment -- "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price - we think the price is worth it."

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Philip Greenspan's bio is concise and right to the point: 76 years old, married 50 years, 2 children, 3 grandchildren. Veteran World War II Army of the U.S. Graduate Brooklyn Law School, member of the NY bar. Private law practice, followed by employments in the motion picture industry -- distribution and exhibition, and data processing industry -- retailing and stock market; retired 6 years.

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Published September 9, 2002
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