Democrats & Liberals Archives

A League of Democracies

John McCain, whom I do not favor, has come up with a good idea: Let’s have all the democracies in the world join forces in a League of Democracies. This way we’ll be able to fight authoritarianism and terrorism.

According to the L.A. Times:

McCain has said that, as president, he would call for creation of a "league of democracies" that would move aggressively to tackle problems the United Nations fails to resolve, such as the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs, civil strife in Sudan and world health crises.

So-called "realists" attacked this idea because they think countries like Saudi Arabia, China and Russia may be upset. Though they are not democracies we need them for many issues. They were especially concerned because McCain seemed to imply that this league would be militarily equipped and engaged in warfare outside the purview of the UN.

Now McCain back pedals:

"It does not envision military action," McCain told reporters in Dallas on April 11. He said it would "not be a formal organization; it would be a coalition of nations that shifts sometimes depending on what their priorities are."

I'm all for such a league if it concentrates on promoting democratic actions everywhere, especiallly at the UN. Autocracies often beat democracies in UN votes by working together. Why can't we form a League of Democracies to build a consensus democratic view on a given issue? Then we'd go the UN and vote in unison for the democratic policies we favor.

Of course, this means that America will not always have its own way. But the League of Democracies would often have its way - a lot more satisfying condition than what we have now.

It also means that America will become a true leader in the UN. The League of Democracies will enable democracies to prevail on many important issues, such as peace, terrorism and human rights.

Posted by Paul Siegel at April 21, 2008 9:45 PM
Comments
Comment #251143

Wasn’t this the basic idea behind the League of Nations. Wouldn’t a league of democracies just be NATO plus a few other countries on each continent? Would our country even qualify as a democracy? I don’t think that anyone will be looking at us for leadership for many years, but at least McCain has a concrete idea of where to go in the future.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 21, 2008 11:36 PM
Comment #251145

ohrealy:

Wasn’t this the basic idea behind the League of Nations.

No, the idea behind The League of Nations was to PREVENT future World Wars. Eventually the League fell apart, then came back together as the UN.
It sounds to me as though McCain’s “League of Democracies” is more inclined to start wars instead.

We all know the complete disdain the GOP has for the UN. So it’s easy to wonder if this new league isn’t being designed to ideologically supplant the UN.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 22, 2008 12:08 AM
Comment #251146

“So it’s easy to wonder if this new league isn’t being designed to ideologically supplant the UN.”

Sounds like a plan to me! The UN is an international joke. It’s been castrated by dictators who tell it where to get off and it has zero credibility.

Posted by: Duane-o at April 22, 2008 12:22 AM
Comment #251157

Who gets to define democracy? Sounds a lot like Rhetoric to me.

Posted by: googlumpugus at April 22, 2008 1:14 AM
Comment #251163

Would this include democracies like Weimer Germany? They finally elected a man,quite democratically,that they could get behind. Adolf Hitler was his name. Ever hear about how that worked out?
“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” Benjamin Franklin, 1759

Posted by: t-bone at April 22, 2008 5:38 AM
Comment #251191

Paul, I agree, it is a good idea. Implementation of course, would be an entirely different matter.

Now, for a potentially bad idea, you have to look to Hillary Clinton’s proposal of making welfare recipients of American tax dollars of a host of Middle Eastern nations like Saudi Arabia, via putting a US Military protective umbrella over their heads. Is she mad? Or, just stupid?

Isn’t dependency upon the American taxpayer precisely the crux of the problem in Iraq? Being dependent upon American tax payers, they won’t move toward independence and cutting off their free lunch umbilical.

This is truly a potential reason for some voters to vote for McCain instead of Hillary if she wins the nomination; no question about it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2008 1:10 PM
Comment #251207

The idea of a “League of Democracies” is just an excuse to kill of the idea of international cooperation through the UN. The members of McCain’s “League” would simply be a coalition of western allies acting without the cooperation, legal sanction, or moral support of most of the rest of the world.

And of course, the obvious question is, who gets to do whatever they want in the name of a “League of Democracies,” and who gets it done to them?

Hamas is democratically elected. Iran is an Islamic state with a democratic framework. Israel is a Jewish state with a democratic framework. Most of South America now consists of leftist democracies. Many countries claim to be democracies, but obviously are not.

The overall approach is similar to the Bush administration approach to Global Warming, namely, undermining international cooperation by creating parallel organizations.

Posted by: phx8 at April 22, 2008 4:04 PM
Comment #251209

phx8, excellent observations, and I agree with the potential of this proposal as you outline it. Very sharp!

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2008 5:04 PM
Comment #251221

The UN has been a disgrace for years. I thought it should have been disbanded because of Rwanda many years ago. When they went to Geneva to vote some crap against Israel, we should have told them to stay there. It is mostly just a school, where people come from all over the world to learn about a legislative body where people have very different viewpoints, and are allowed to express them freely. Then they go back home and things rarely change much.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 22, 2008 6:57 PM
Comment #251228

Democracy? The American People have to get hep to the fact that these Republiscam, rabid hyena criminals have an intense, red hot hatred for democracy and the U.S. Constitution. For them, it’s a Pavlovian/Rovian buzzword to be used to justify anything. Let’s rally Oceania. Where’s the ringing of the bell? Look at ‘em salivating.

Posted by: Stephen Hines at April 22, 2008 8:58 PM
Comment #251259

David:

Now, for a potentially bad idea, you have to look to Hillary Clinton’s proposal of making welfare recipients of American tax dollars of a host of Middle Eastern nations like Saudi Arabia, via putting a US Military protective umbrella over their heads. Is she mad? Or, just stupid?

In my opinion, she completely took the lid off crazy with her recent comments. She actually threatened nuclear war by using the words “obliterate” in regards to Iran. With that single word she proved that she does not stand on the left, and is actually willing to out Neocon the Neocons.
Ready on Day One…for the Funny Farm.

This is truly a potential reason for some voters to vote for McCain instead of Hillary if she wins the nomination; no question about it.

Thankfully, it’s clear she isn’t going to win the Democratic nomination. It doesn’t matter how hard the media keeps trying to spin her chance at getting the nomination, we all know she has already lost. The only reasons she’s staying in the race seems to be because she’s broke, hasn’t been paying her bills, still owes millions of dollars, and to make sure she hurts Obama’s chances as much as she can for November.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 23, 2008 11:29 AM
Comment #251282

VV
As someone on the sidelines here, I’m curious as to why clinton would want to hurt Obama’s chances of becoming President.
Spite?
Does she think McCain would be better?

Just curious, thanks.

Posted by: kctim at April 23, 2008 4:06 PM
Comment #251285
As someone on the sidelines here, I’m curious as to why clinton would want to hurt Obama’s chances of becoming President.

I have no idea why Hillary Clownton turned into Zell Lieberman, all I know is that for a long time the math has clearly spelled out her doom. Yet, even when she’s millions of dollars in the hole, and has been giving the shaft to businesses who’ve done work for her campaign by refusing to pay them or take their phone calls, she’s still insisting she’ll stay in the race right into the convention.

These facts combined with her recent comments about how she will definitely start a war with Iran if she becomes the president, and rattling a big scary nuclear saber with the words “totally obliterate” suggests that woman may well have completely lost her mind.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 23, 2008 4:30 PM
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