Friday, November 4

We had to destroy this democracy to save it

"With the election on May 2 of Chile's former interior minister Jose Miguel Insulza to the post of secretary general of the Organization of American States (O.A.S.), that alliance will, for the first time since its founding in 1948, have a chief executive who is not the preferred choice of the United States."

So begins a May 2005 PINR intelligence brief titled Washington loses control of OAS. The brief is a must read if you want to understand the real background to the unpleasant reception President Bush has received during his trip to Argentina. It also brings out that the US Department of State has been relying on an outmoded playbook in their approach to the Latin American region as a whole; a playbook that flagrantly contradicts the Bush Democracy Doctrine.
Although the installation of market democracies is Washington's best-case scenario, it has been willing to embrace authoritarian regimes when it perceives that they are fending off political forces that would establish alternatives to capitalism and cultivate the support of powers outside the hemisphere for their experiments.
Pundita never likes to propose the Taco Bell Solution but that might be just the ticket in this case. By now Pundita readers should be familiar with the basic drill:

Recall all US ambassadors to Washington and put them in a stadium along with all DOS employees. Breakfast, lunch and dinner catered by Taco Bell, until everybody understands that protecting a democracy by supporting despotic regimes will come back to bite you real fast in the modern age.

Once everyone is on the same page, the next step is to take this simple quiz: What is the difference between a market economy and a democracy?

It might take a month or so of subsisting on burritos (especially if the quiz taker has been posted to China), but eventually everyone will figure out the answer.

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