Not This Again

Well, this is familiar. Familiar and stomach-turning. What was that we were saying about ‘democracy’? Sometimes that seems to translate to democracy Henry Ford style. Any colour so long as it’s black; any candidate so long as it’s one the US approves of.

But critics of the NED say the organisation routinely meddles in other countries’ affairs to support groups that believe in free enterprise, minimal government intervention in the economy and opposition to socialism in any form. In recent years, the NED has channelled funds to the political opponents of the recently ousted Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide at the same time that Washington was blocking loans to his government.

Shades of 1954. I thought we’d learned our lesson, I thought (idiotically, I admit) we’d stopped doing this kind of thing, if only for reasons of sensible caution and prudence. I thought we’d kind of realized it has a tendency to turn around and bite us now and then. I thought, not to put too fine a point on it, that we’d finally realized that such behavior is not the way to win allies and that yes as a matter of fact we do need allies, despite being The World’s Only Superpower. Oh what’s the use. My own fault for thinking anything so silly.

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