washington still doesn't get it...

if democracy means the state listens to the people, then what would you call a state that listens to only some people?

here, an argument that any effort to 'install' democracy is ...well, a dumb (and deaf) idea -

'but the language we choose for "democratic" representation in the country is the same for chalabi or allawi or any of those people. miraculously their leaders speak fluent english, as in vietnam.

in vietnam, the top people spoke english, but the middle people, in general, spoke french. and that gave me a very big advantage because i spoke french. i could speak to the district people, the province chiefs, and a lot of the army commanders, in french. of course i didn't speak vietnamese like my colleagues. none of u.s. really noticed what the implications of that were. the people we were dealing with were, to a man -- and they were all men -- collaborators with the french regime. they were so perceived and recognized by the vietnamese.

it didn't occur to u.s. that someone who spoke english qualified himself for political, electoral leadership in vietnam. the vietnamese, left to themselves, wouldn't have made that a requirement, probably any more than they would have made it a requirement that the leader, like diem, be christian. and in iraq, again, speaking english wouldn't be the natural requirement for a leader there.'


gaddeswarup said...

Coincidentally in my bookmarks your site is next to that of marginalrevolution. Look at this post and discussion:
It is as if one is watching one of those wrestling matches. At the moment I think that Americans might have got into Vietnam due to their fear of communism and into Iraq to control resources.

gaddeswarup said...

Somehow links do not seem to come out properly. I referred to the same link in my blog.

kuffir said...

i read the post you refer to... no one is sure of american motives, any more i think..

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