47TH ACADEMY ASSEMBLY
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2005
7:00 p.m.
Spreading Democracy: America's Obligation
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: DR. LARRY DIAMOND

Cadet:
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of the Superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy, Lieutenant General John W. Rosa, and the Commandant of Cadets, Brigadier General John Weida, I would like to welcome you to the evening's keynote address of the 47th Academy Assembly. The Academy Assembly is the premier international conference hosted by the department of political science each year. My name is Cadet Third-Class . I am this year's executive clerk. This evening we are honored to have with us Dr. Larry Diamond, a senior observer at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Also joining us this evening as members of the official party are Brigadier General Dana H. Borne, Dean of the Faculty here at the Air Force Academy; Brigadier General-Retired Cubero, president of the Falcon Foundation, and his wife, Mrs. Jan Cubero; Colonel Douglas J. Murray, professor in the department of political science and head of the department of political science, and Colonel-Retired
Jim Shaw, head of the Association of Graduates, and his wife, Mrs. Cindy Shaw. Please rise for the arrival of the official party. Thank you. Please be seated. This evening Dr. Larry Diamond will be speaking on building democracy, lessons from Iraq. Dr. Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. In addition to his Hoover appointment, Larry Diamond is a professor of political science in sociology by courtesy at Stanford University. His current research examines comparative trends in the quality and stability of democracy in developing countries and postCommunist states as well as U.S. foreign policy and nongovernmental activity to promote
democracy abroad. A Hoover fellow since 1985, he has authored or edited 26 books including Developing Democracy Toward Consolidation. Since 1990, he has been coeditor of the Journal of Democracy and codirector of the National Endowment for Democracy's International Forum for Democratic Studies. Since September 2001, Dr. Diamond has served as a consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development on New Strategies for Foreign Assistance. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from Stanford University. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Larry Diamond.
DR. DIAMOND: Thank you very much. Thank you for the warm introduction and thank you very much for having me. I'm very honored to be asked to give this address to your assembly, and I consider it, frankly, a particular honor and opportunity to be asked to talk about this subject of the global expansion of democracy and the international promotion of democracy just less than two weeks or so since the historic address on the second inauguration of President Bush where he gave a speech that I think may go down in history as very significant for the vision that it projected of a world in which every country could and should be living in freedom and democracy. So tonight I want to ponder with you the possibility that that could happen maybe in your lifetime, probably not in mine, and how it could happen, how we could at least in the coming years make
very significant progress in that direction. To do that, I need to do three things. One is I want to review the history, the extraordinary history of democratic progress in the world over the last three decades. Secondly, I'll give you a kind of more detailed analysis of where we stand today in terms of the nature of regimes in the world; and third, I'll talk to you about what I think we need to
do to realize this vision in terms of U.S. policies. Let me say that actually I won't be talking
about lessons specifically from Iraq, but I've written about that, I am writing about that, and I'll be happy to answer your questions about that. Thirty years ago -- actually now this April
it will be 31 years ago, a military coup in one small authoritarian country marked the beginning of a historic, global, political transformation, and that was the military coup in Portugal in April of 1974 that brought down several decades of fascist dictatorship and started a process very unstable at the time that eventually led after many twists and turns to the first democratic government in the history of Portugal. At the same time across the border in Spain, the long-time dictator, Francisco Franco, was holding onto power there. Both countries were steeped in a Latin-Catholic culture that was dismissed by many social scientists at the time -- and I was roughly your age in college at the time, so I remember these debates very vividly -- dismissed at the time as being unsuited to democracy. That logic was also used to explain the virtual absence of democracy in the mid-1970s throughout Latin America. The triumph of democracy in Portugal was the beginning of a long wave of democratic expansion in the world that continues to this day. When this third global wave of democratization began in 1974 -- and, of course, at the time nobody had any clue that this was going to inaugurate 30 years of continuous democratic expansion in the world. There were only about 41 democracies in the world, and these were mainly in the advanced industrial countries. There were a few developing countries, India, Sri Lanka, Botswana, Costa Rica, that were democracies, but only a few. There were several Caribbean democracies steeped in the British rule-of-law tradition, but these were mainly island
states. Military and one-party dictatorships helped sway them in most of Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. And, of course, all of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union were living under Communist totalitarian rule. Since 1974, democracy, which I'm just defining now very simply as the system of government in which the people choose their leaders at regular intervals through free and fair elections, democracy has expanded dramatically in the world moving from Southern Europe, sweeping through Latin America, and then East Asia.
You may know that in Asia the democratic wave first toppled the dictatorship of Ferdinand
Marcos in the Philippines in February of 1986 in a massive wave of popular protest that was dubbed"people power" forcing then the following year the complete withdrawal of the Korean military from political life in 1987 and a transition to democracy in that country. About the same time in Taiwan, a more gradual transition to democracy got underway and was completed, in my judgment, by the time of the first direct elections for president there in 1996. By 1991, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal had all become democracies, and around that time, Thailand was becoming a democracy as well. By 1987, the third wave had spread to the point where about two of every five states in the world were democracies; whereas, just little more than a decade before, only about a quarter of all the independent states in the world had been democracies.
By 1987, all of Western Europe, much of Asia, and most of Latin America were democratic, but
that still left gaping holes in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East. By the late 1980s, democracy had a lot of momentum, but it was still a regional, not a global, phenomenon. And, of course, this regionalism of democracy changed dramatically with the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and then the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991 so that by 1990 most of the states of Eastern Europe were making transitions to democracy and holding competitive elections, and that fall of Communism unleashed what is often called a second liberation, a new wave of postcolonial democratic change in Africa as well. Freed from the prism of the two superpower
struggle for geopolitical dominance and reeling from desperate fiscal crises, African countries began to liberate themselves with two events in February of 1990 leading the way. One was the freeing of Nelson Mandella and the unbanning of the ANC in South Africa, and the other was the holding of a sovereign national conference in the tiny West African state of Benin which led to the toppling of the military dictator there and a wave of transitions to democracy in other African countries. From 1990, Africa experienced a rolling tide of democratic change under heavy pressure from international donors. And please remember that because I want to come back to that in the policy discussion. Under heavy international pressure from international donors as well as their own peoples, most African states at least legalized opposition parties and held competitive elections and opened space for civil society. Now, in only about half of the cases were the elections even partly democratic, but nevertheless, this transformed the continent that had once been mainly composed of military and one-party regimes. By 1997, only four of the 48 states in Sub-Saharan Africa had not held a competitive multiparty election at the national level. Now, of those 44 Sub-Saharan African states, the majority had what I would call semidemocracy or electoral authoritarian regimes, but more freedom, more competition, more space for political change than ever before, and more than a dozen African states could by then, by now, actually be called democracies. To appreciate the depth and breadth of this third wave of democratization, consider this: In 1974, as I said, there were 41 democracies out of about 150 states in the world. Of the remaining 109 states, 56 of them subsequently made a transition to democracy. That's a majority of all the remaining states at the time. And of those 56, only three of them that made a transition to democracy subsequently slipped back, and those were Pakistan, Sudan and, very
sadly, Russia. Moreover, 45 new states came into the world system during this period, and of those 45 new states, almost three-quarters of them, 71 percent of the post-Soviet successor states, the successor states to the former Yugoslavia and new postcolonial states, 71 percent of them became democracies. As democracy spread to Eastern Europe, a few states in the former Soviet Union and a number in Africa while extending more deeply in Asia and Latin America, it became during the 1990s what it had never before been in the history of the world, a global
phenomenon. Today about three-fifths of all the independent states in the world are emocracies by that definition I gave, a system of government in which people can choose their leaders and replace their leaders in free, fair and competitive multiparty elections. Today there are no global rivals to democracy as a broad model of government. So when people ask in the wake of President Bush's inaugural address, Is this utter fancy that we could some day live in a world in which all of the peoples of the world live in democratic governments and in free societies? Is it possible? I say yes, because the majority of states in the world today are already democracies. Moreover, and this is perhaps the most stunning and unexpected aspect of this wave of
democratization, the overwhelming bulk of the states that have become democratic during this third wave, unlike the previous two waves, have remained democratic even in countries lacking virtually all of the supposed preconditions for democracy. If we set aside the three military coups
that occurred in Africa before the third wave reached that continent in 1990, then only four emocracies in this 30-year period have been overthrown by the military in a conventional coup. This is a transformation of historic proportions. Two of those, Turkey and Thailand, returned fairly quickly to democracy, and I think will never experience another military coup. The other two, Pakistan and The Gambia, have felt compelled at least to institute a veneer of civilian multiparty elections with continuing heavy presence of military officers. Several democracies in this period have been suspended by their own civilian-elected leaders like Vladimir Putin in Russia and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Since 1974, by my count, only about 14 of the 125 democracies that have existed during this period have lapsed back into authoritarianism, and in 9 of these 14 countries, democracy was then restored later on. So I think we are in so many respects at a
historic moment. If you want to draw more encouragement, look at a country like Mali, an extremely poor, landlocked, overwhelmingly Muslin country in the middle of the Sahara Desert in Africa. If you wanted to pick a more unlikely country to become and remain in democracy which it has not been for more than ten years, you would be hard pressed to find a more unlikely candidate than Mali in which the majority of adults are illiterate and live in absolute poverty and
the life expectancy is 44 years. In fact -- and this is another remarkable fact about the world we live in today, if we examined 36 countries at the low end of the spectrum in terms of human development as rated by the UN Development Program in its Human Development Index, 11 of these 36 least-developed countries are democracies today. If we widen our scope to look at the bottom third of all the states classified by the UNDP, then 41 percent, 24 of these 58 states, have democracies, and about a dozen of them have been democracies for more than a decade. That there should be so many democracies among the world's poorest countries is a development at least as noteworthy as the overall predominance of democracy in the world today and pregnant with possibilities for the expansion of democracy since most of the remaining nondemocracies
of the world are relatively poor states. Now, I do not come to you purely with good news, and, in fact, I have a couple of sobering caveats. One of them is that a lot of the new democracies of the world are not functioning very well. There is, in fact, in Latin America, in parts of Asia, and elsewhere in the recently democratized areas of the world a certain malaise with the performance of democracies with states that have a very weak governing capacity, a very weak rule of law, very poor protection for human rights, pervasive police violations of civil liberaties, uncertain establishment of civilian control of the military, and very, almost pervasively among these states, very, very high levels of corruption. Some of these states, in fact, I think are
not democracies even though they are sometimes called that but are better called pseudodemocracies or semiauthoritarian regimes. Some of them are creeping along with a very low and illiberal state of democracy which leaves their citizens unsatisfied and wanting more.
I think our goal must not simply be democracy as I defined it earlier in terms of a system of electoral competition for power through fair and free elections but something more, something that I call liberal democracy. This requires not simply an open electoral arena with substantial freedom for parties and candidates to campaign and solicit votes in a neutral and fair administration of the voting and vote counting, it requires as well two other elements, a
liberal element that limits the power of the state to encroach on the basic rights of the individual person and a republican element providing for a rule of law and good government through institutions of what we call horizontal accountability like an independent judiciary that check and balance executive power while holding all actors, public and private, equal before the law.
Liberal democracy features a vigorous rule of law with an independent and neutral judiciary,
extensive freedoms of belief, speech, publication, association and so on, strong protections for the rights of ethnic, religious and other minorities, a pluralistic civil society, and I know you all in this room understand this, civilian control over the military. There is also an empirical response to the complaint that many raise, that electoral democracy is not so important in the world, a complaint that I have been struggling mightily against. Some people argue, one of them is my friend, the Newsweek International editor, Farid Zakaria, that the real goal should be getting a rule of law, that electoral democracy is not so important, it can come later. If you get a rule of
law, you get, as in Singapore, development. It turns out, however, that the countries in almost all cases that have a true rule of law and in all cases that respect human rights and civil liberaties are democracies. The only countries that give their people extensive freedom under a rule of
law are countries that are electoral democracies that enable their people to choose their leaders and turn out their leaders in regular, free and fair elections. I said one caveat to the hopeful picture of the last 30 years is that in many parts of the world, we've got to be honest about it, democracy is not functioning all that well and people are left unsatisfied. The second caveat is that there is a part of the world that has not been touched by the global democratic revolution or at least has not been touched until the last year and then in a rather odd way. In every region of the world except for one, at least a third of the states are democracies. Thirty of the 33 states in Latin America, for example; two-thirds the former Communist, half of the Asian states, and even about two-fifths of the African states. The one regional exception to the global trend is the Middle East where democracy is virtually absent, and where among the 16 Arab countries of the Middle East there is not a single democracy, and with the exception of Lebanon, there never has been. And, of course, Iraq could now become the first. Some skeptics believe that democracy is largely a Western Judeo-Christian phenomenon, that it is not well suited to other regions, cultures and
religious traditions. They have a ready answer for the freedom gap in the Middle East: Islam. I think this answer is dead wrong, not only normatively and philosophically but also empirically.
Now, please follow me carefully. There are 43 countries in the world that pretty clearly have a
majority Muslim population. Twenty-seven of these outside the Araba states of the Middle East have an average freedom score on the freedom scale of Freedom House that is appreciably better than the Arab states. Moreover, a quarter, that is 7, of these 27 nonArab Muslim majority states are democracies. So democracy exists today in virtually all types of states in the world. It is significantly present in almost every region of the world. It is present in countries evincing every major religious or philosophical tradition, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, and yes, Muslim if you look at Indonesia, look at Bangladesh, look at Turkey, look at Mali, for example. It is much more common in developed countries. All of the 20 most developed countries in the world are democracies, and, in fact, liberal democracies, but it is significantly present, as I've indicated, among poor countries, and it is becoming a universal value. It is possible to dismiss the democratization of the last three decades as a fad, a contemporary concession to international pressure that's eventually going to go away, but there are several arguments against this cynicism. One is simply the fact that we're 30 years into this and it's still going, I think, rather strong. Another is that if you look at the poorest countries of the world as
I've indicated before, they are persisting in their adoption of democracy even under very hallenging circumstances. A third argument is philosophical. A strong case has been made that democracy is not an extravogance for the poor but very nearly a necessity. The Nobel prize-winning economist at Oxford or Cambridge, Marty Asin, the Indian economist, won a Nobel prize for economics in 1998 in part for showing that democracies do not have families. People in economic need, he argues, also need a political voice. Democracy is not a luxury that can await the arrival of general prosperity. Moreover, he argues, there is very little evidence that poor people given the choice prefer to reject democracy. In fact, we know much more now than we did
ten years ago about what poor people really think in these countries because we have had in the last ten years a stunning profusion of public opinion surveys in Africa, in Latin America, in East Asia, in the postCommunist countries telling us what the peoples of these emerging political systems really think, and the early evidence indicates that the understanding and valuing of democracy is widely shared across cultures. The Afro-Barometer, which is now done in about 15 or 16 African states, has examined how people view democracy in a number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Two-thirds of Africans surveyed associate democracy not with pie-in-the-sky economic progress but with civil liberaties, popular sovereignty, electoral choice. Two-thirds of Africans surveyed, indeed almost 70 percent, also say democracy is always preferable to authoritarian rule. Even many in Africa who are not satisfied with democracy believe it is the best form of government, and most Africans who live in democracies recognize that there are serious institutional problems that must be addressed. Latin Americans have had more time than Africans to become disillusioned with democracy and they are more ambivalent. However, in Latin America as well, a majority of people still believe democracy is always preferable, and only about 15 to 20 percent say even after the lost decade economically that they might prefer an authoritarian regime. We get as well strong majorities in East Asia of citizens saying that democracy is the best form of government and rejecting all civilian and military alternatives to democracy. Much has been made, particularly since September 11th, of the thesis of a clash of civilizations, but as the Afro-Barometer survey finds, and I quote, "Muslims are as supportive
of democracy as nonMuslims." In fact, it found that large majorities of Muslims as well as nonMuslims in Africa support democracy, and to the extent there's any hesitancy in supporting democracy among African Muslims, it's due more to deficits of formal education and of modernization rather than of religion per se. There are beginning to be done now public opinion surveys in the Middle East as well, in Egypt, in Palestine and so on, and the organizer of those
surveys, Professor Mark Tessler of the University of Michigan, draws the early conclusion, he's drawing much more survey evidence now, "Islam appears to have less influence on political attitudes than is frequently suggested. Indeed, support for democracy," I am quoting here, "is not necessarily lower among those individuals with the strongest Islamist attachments." These popular orientations among Muslims in the world correspond with the thinking of increasingly
outspoken moderate Muslim intellectuals many of whom I met in Iraq, by the way, who are making the case either for a liberal interpretation of Islam or for a broader liberal view that de-emphasizes the meaning of sacred Islamic texts in terms of their literal meaning while stressing the larger compatibility between the overall moral teachings of Islam and the nature of democracy as a system of government based on such principles as accountability, freedom of expression, and the rule of law. Islam is undergoing a reformation now, and there is growing momentum among Muslim religious thinkers for a separation of mosque and state and for
democracy as the basic morally right system of government. Significantly Arab thinkers, scholars and civil society activists are themselves challenging the democracy and freedom deficit that pervades the Arab world. I'm sure most of you have heard of the Arab Human Development report, an extraordinary document first published by the United Nations Development Program in 2002. It recognizes that the global wave of democratization has "barely reached the Arab states."
It says, "This freedom deficit undermines human development and is one of the most painful manifestations of lagging political development." It said, and I quote, and this is a remarkable statement for Arab scholars and thinkers to be thinking, "There can be no real prospects for reforming the system of government or for truly liberating human capabilities in the absence of comprehensive political representation in effective legislatures based on free, honest, efficient and regular elections." Amartia Semm argues that the mark of a universal value is not that it has the consent of everyone but that people anywhere may have reason to see it as valuable. By this measure, there is growing evidence of all kinds that democracy is becoming a truly universal value. Now, I'd like to in my remaining time ponder what could be done particularly with reference
to the Middle East and particularly the Arab world to promote democratic change. This is the ost difficult challenge if you follow the logic of what I've said about the regional distribution of egimes in the world that we need to confront if we are going to realize the vision, the very powerful and morally inspiring vision, the vision that I think is fundamentally important to our national security that President Bush has laid out of promoting freedom and democracy in the entire world and not just a section of the world. Normatively and conceptually, I think -- I hope you agree -- that we are at a historic juncture where moral imperatives to support human rights and promote peaceful democratic change and security imperatives to roll back and defeat terrorism and totalitarian ideologies now converge as never before. After September 11th, the political
transformation of the world and I would say, in particular, of Middle Eastern regimes toward greater freedom, responsiveness, transparency, accountability and participation, and, therefore, a real capacity to achieve broad-based, sustainable human development that will lift people out of poverty and out of humiliating circumstances has become not just a moral imperative but a necessary foundation for the security of all Western democracies. Creating a new climate in the Middle East that is much less conducive to hatred and terrorism requires a sweeping improvement in the character and quality of governance. The question is, if you follow my analogies here, How do we promote these changes in such a way that the search for an Arab Kerensky does not yield an Islamist Lenin because that is that nightmare that is holding back Western policymakers? First, the tone and style of our approach is absolutely vital. Today in the Arab world, I'm sorry to say this but it's a reality that we need to confront and ponder, the United States is virtually radioactive. Arab democrats that come too close to it risk being contaminated and burned. The people of the Arab world profoundly suspect our motives. They think we are only in Iraq for the oil, and it is hard to dissuade them when the only building we protected as Baghdad was being systematically looted in April of 2003 was the oil ministry. They think we seek long-term imperial domination in the region, and it is hard to dissuade them when we do not renounce any intention of seeking permanent military bases in Iraq. They think we only want democracy when it produces government friendly to the United States, and it is hard to dissuade them from that as well when we have taken, frankly, no practical steps to follow up on the President's bold and moving speeches. I think we must promote democracy in the Middle East, but we cannot do it rapidly, we cannot do it purely on our terms, and we certainly cannot do it
alone. It has always been the case that success in this endeavor would require close coordination with our European allies, but in the wake of the many mistakes and unilateralism of this administration over the last few years of engaging this region, I think we really have no chance now of fostering democratic change in the Middle East without a truly multilateral, transatlantic strategy that offers real hope of economic as well as political progress. Here is my view in a nutshell on strategy: If freedom is to advance in the world, the United States must lead, but sometimes we must lead more subtly from behind if we are to be effective. We need unprecedented cooperation at three levels to promote democratic change in the Middle East effectively, first between Europe and the United States, and I say Europe, but I really mean all of our democratic allies, Canada, Australia, Japan and so on; secondly between governments of the established, industrialized democracies and nongovernmental organizations of these various democracies around the world; and third, between this new transatlantic alliance and
reform-minded governmental and nongovernmental actors in the Middle East, partnerships in every respect. A group of European and American policy specialists that I was involved with that was brought together by the German Marshall Fund of the United States met during the first six months of last year and produced what we consider to be a viable transatlantic strategy for promoting democracy and human development in the Middle East. In fact, if you go to the Web site of the German Marshall Fund of the U.S., www.gmfus.org and go to their publications and look for Istanbul Paper Number 1 which was presented to the NATO Summit last June in Istanbul, you can read our whole report. Let me summarize, first, our strategy based on five principles, and then I'll conclude with some of our recommendations. First of all, if this is to
work, and we really believe we are at a historical potentially transformative moment now where it can work and we are in interaction with a number of Arab intellectuals who also believe it can work, we've got to emphasize regional and local ownership. Democratization and human development in the Middle East must spring -- and I would say everywhere in the world -- must spring from indigenous roots. Western democracy should not seek to impose any formula for democratic change, and this is one of the reasons why I have been critical of our policy in Iraq. I think having a political occupation of Iraq was a very big mistake. Arab and other local emocratic reformers can and must receive help from the outside, morally, political, and materially, but they have to be in the lead. Secondly, we need to engage, it's a logical extension of what I've said, both rulers and ruled in the region. In identifying the owners and partners for reform, the West cannot only look to state officials, though they are important, we need to reach out below into civil society and engage them as well and really insist that the rulers of these countries talk to, negotiate with, and quit jailing their own democratic civil society advocates for reform. Third, on Islam and democracy, it will not surprise you to know that we reject the argument that there is some intrinsic incompatibility between Islam and democracy or that peoples of the Middle East are incapable of democratic governments or do not want the same rights that are taken for granted in most other parts of the world. I must say, during my time in Iraq in the first three months of last year, I saw no evidence where the cynicism and very considerable evidence
which was reaffirmed in a very moving way on January 30th that Iraqis by and large want the kind of rights and the kinds of political freedoms that we take for granted in the West. Fourth, tailored policies. Each country in the region is unique with its own history, problems and opportunities. Each country should be encouraged to come up with its own national reform plan for democratic change resulting from an open negotiation between the government, the political opposition and
civil society forces in these countries. The negotiation of a gradual, phased, mutually agreed-upon timetable and formula for democratic change unique to each Arab country can allow time for moderates to organize politically and for a greater plurality of forces in civil society to flower thereby facilitating a democratic transition that does not yield to what is the worst nightmare of
this approach, the possibility that it will be captured by radical totalitarian Islamists. Fifth, we need to fill the credibility gap. Western governments, and I would say very prominently the government of our own country, need to overcome their past track records of inconsistency and
double standards. It's the reason why we really don't have credibility right now in this part of the world. The burden is on us, our governments, our societies to demonstrate that we are serious about genuine democratic change and are willing to sustain a serious commitment even in the face of short-term risks like the risk that the government that might emerge will not be proAmerican. We recommend several practical policy courses. One is that the transatlantic democracies should do more to link their economic assistance directly to political reform and good governance. That is, in fact, the more general logic of the millenium challenge account, if you have heard about it, and of the EUs Barcelona process, and it is something that I strongly advocate for all of the regimes of the world in developing countries, not just the Middle East.
Second, we need to establish benchmarks for actual behavior and extend them not just to aide but to other areas of cooperation, trade liberalization, debt relief, and symbolic honors such as high-level visits. Let me tell you something that deeply disappointed me and that helps to explain why we have so little credibility for this initiative right now in the Middle East. This initiative was not launched with President Bush's inaugural address. It was launched in a way, particularly with respect to the Middle East, in another historic address that he gave which I was privileged to attend on November 6 of 2003 celebrating the 20th anniversary of the National Endowment for Democracy, which is, as you may know, the principle nongovernmental but congressional-funded instrument that the United States has for helping democratic civil society organizations, political parties, trade unions, business chambers, and intellectual initiatives abroad.
President Bush gave a moving address declaring a new policy for promoting democracy in the
Middle East as our highest goal and renouncing, in essence, 50 years of previous American foreign policy in this region including implicitly, if I may say so, the foreign policy of his own father. This was a very bold, in fact, radical speech, which is on the Web site of the National Endowment for Democracy, www.ned.org, if you would like to read it. One week later after this speech, the President welcomed not just for a meeting but for a formal state visit at the White House one of the most authoritarian, least reformist political leaders in the Arab world, one of the genuine political repressors of human rights, the Tunisian president, Ben Ali. What message does it send to democrats in the Arab world when we say one thing one week however eloquently and boldly and do something dramatically different the very next week? I think as well -- this is our third recommendation -- that the West must re-examine its relationships with the region's security institutions. We should use our influence, Europe and the United States, with friendly military and intelligence establishments to foster, not impede, democratic change and to terminate regression against democratic forces and to end the use of torture, a practice that continues with our knowledge and with our implicit consent in many of our Arab allies. Fourth, the Western democracy should exhibit more visible, consistent and effective
solidarity with democrats and human rights activists in the region who are under threat or in detention. We should have a list as we do in the case of the Soviet Union when President Reagan went there repeatedly of political prisoners, and every time our Secretary of State or the President or the Secretary of Defense or any other high-ranking American or European official visits one of these Arab countries, the list of political prisoners should be brought out and we should ask, What are you going to do to release or charge and try these people? Fifth, the Western democracies should increase very substantially, I think, their support for civil society and political actors and institutions in these countries working to advance democracy. I am happy to say that President Bush last year recommended a doubling in the budget of the
National Endowment for Democracy, and while the Congress didn't grant that, it did under fairly
stringent budget conditions significantly increase the budget for democracy promotion of the NED and related institutions. Sixth, we urgently need to increase educational, social and cultural contacts between the peoples of the West and the peoples of the Middle East. Now, there's a problem here. It's the problem of September 11th. These people can't get in our country anymore without waiting 6 to 12 months and going through what is, frankly, a frequently humiliating gauntlet of interviews and searches and provisions designed to protect our own security but I
think run amuck in terms of keeping out people who are natural allies for democratic change.
So we have recommended that there be established a fast-track list of known democrats in
the region to expedite visas and entry into this country. I've gone on long enough. I have a number of more general recommendations about American policy, but I think you can infer them from what I've said. Let me just give you my conclusion. Here it is: I think that we should not be sanguine, we should not be cavalier about this. I don't think there's any hidden hand that is going to produce a further expansion of democracy in the world or even preserve the hard-won games we have achieved. A reverse wave of democratic breakdowns cannot be ruled out. However, universal democracy as envisioned in the President's inaugural address has never been more imaginable and more attainable. History has proven that it is the best form of government.
Culturally, it is more and more universally valued. For internal reasons alone, the eventual democratization of the world's biggest country, China, appears in my opinion increasingly likely, and that event in itself in the next 25 years will generate enormous demonstration effects on the remaining authoritarian regimes. If the process of global economic growth and integration can be sustained and if political freedom becomes a more important, consistent and explicit priority in all the various forms of international engagement and assistance and in American foreign policy, democracy will continue to expand in the world. And under those conditions, I think possibly by the middle of this century, likely in your lifetime but probably not in mine, virtually
every country in the world can be democratic. Thank you. Thank you. I'm open to taking your questions. I don't know. I'll let our organizer decide if there is time and means for doing so.
Cadet: Dr. Diamond, on behalf of the United States Air Force Academy and the 47th Academy
Assembly, I would like to present you with a very special token of our appreciation. Here you go, sir.
DR. DIAMOND: Is this the Maltese falcon? This is beautiful.
CADET: At this time on behalf of the 47th Academy Assembly, I would like to extend thanks
to Colonel-Retired Jim Shaw and the Association of Graduates. Without their tremendous support, the Academy Assembly would not be possible. Thank you, sir. Please rise for the departure of the official party. At this time would the cadet facilitators please escort the round-table leaders outside? Enjoy the rest of the assembly.
(The presentation concluded at 8:10 p.m.)




 

 

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