Sunday, June 08, 2008

Why Won’t John McCain Support Democracy?

John McCain has said he will not talk to Iran or Hamas until they’ve already complied with the demands of the United States. Why is he refusing to support democracy?

If McCain truly believed in promoting democracy, he would be willing to reward people who go to the polls to elect their leaders. Instead, he has said he will punish the people of Gaza and Iran for electing leaders we don’t like.

Regardless of how offensive Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can be, he is the President of Iran, elected in a poll declared to be free and fair. Hamas is the government of Gaza, put in place through a free and fair election; an election demanded by the United States. Even if Hamas threatens Israel, it is the democratically elected leadership. The voters deserve to have their wishes honoured. Speaking with these governments rewards the voters, not the leaders.

John McCain should be calling for the United States to close its embassy in Zimbabwe. It is already apparent the Mugabe government cheated in counting the votes from the general election. Now, in order to steal the runoff, Mugabe’s thugs are withholding food aid from people who may vote for Morgan Tsvangirai, stopping rallies, and even arresting and holding Tsvangirai for hours on end.

Instead, McCain condemns Barack Obama’s willingness to promote democracy, calling it reckless. What’s more reckless? . . . Talking to hostile governments or giving them orders?