Reinvestigation: Promotion of U.S.-style democracy delivers disaster, not peace abroad-Xinhua

Reinvestigation: Promotion of U.S.-style democracy delivers disaster, not peace abroad

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-06-29 16:54:15

BEIJING, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Claiming to be a "beacon of democracy," the United States has been transplanting its political system to other countries and interfering in their internal affairs over the past century, despite significant differences in economic development, history, and culture.

However, the so-called "democratic transformations" and color revolutions engineered by the United States often escalate into turmoil and lead to endless wars in affected regions.


Haiti, perhaps less known to many than once war-torn Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, has long suffered from U.S. intervention under the guise of democracy. For over a century, the United States has continuously meddled in Haitian politics.

In 1915, under U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, the United States initiated a nearly 20-year military occupation of Haiti, under the guise of leading Latin America to democracy and freedom. In 1994, amidst political turmoil in Haiti, the United States dispatched over 20,000 troops in "Operation Uphold Democracy."

Following these interventions, Haiti was coerced into opening its markets to the United States in exchange for external financial support. Decades of unemployment, gang violence, and hunger ensued. This year, over 300,000 civilians have been displaced by inter-gang warfare, with gangs controlling 80 percent of the capital, according to United Nations (UN) estimates quoted by CNN. "Every person CNN approached said they had been brutalized one way or another," the news outlet reported.

America's century-long efforts to export democracy to Haiti have not fostered genuine democracy but have instead plunged the nation into poverty.

"Haiti is a story that appears to repeat itself while also growing inexorably worse over time," said James Foley, former U.S. ambassador to Haiti.

Robert Fatton Jr., a professor at the University of Virginia and an expert on Haiti, argued in his article "Killing Haitian Democracy" that "the United States' repeated interventions in Haiti have left a legacy of despotism."


Haiti's plight mirrors the United States' relentless push for American-style democracy worldwide, a tool in its quest for global dominance. The United States has often framed this as a battle between democracy and authoritarianism, but this rhetoric primarily serves U.S. hegemony and its political, economic, and security interests.

Lindsey O'Rourke, an associate professor at Boston College, found that between 1947 and 1989, the United States conducted 64 covert operations to topple other governments, with about 30 percent targeting "democratic governments" by Western standards. Notable instances include U.S.-instigated coups in Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, and Chile in 1973, which subverted democratically elected governments.

In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq under the banner of "spreading democracy," resulting in a humanitarian catastrophe and continued regional turmoil.

Many observers believe the root cause of the escalation of the Ukraine crisis is the continuous eastward expansion of the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), disregarding Russia's security concerns. The United States' repeated vetoes of ceasefire resolutions in the UN Security Council expose its hypocrisy in promoting peace.


So who benefits from the U.S. export of democracy?

U.S. President Joe Biden has emphasized America's support for Ukraine and Israel as a defense of democracy. In a primetime address last year, he said, "just as in World War II, today, patriotic American workers are building the arsenal of democracy and serving the cause of freedom."

The term "arsenal of democracy," coined by former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940, reflects the significant increase in the U.S. production of war materials during World War II, which cemented the bond between the defense industry and the government, creating the military-industrial complex. This complex now includes the military, defense contractors, Congress, academic institutions, think tanks, and the media, all leveraging their influence to shape national policies.

This relationship has made "war economics" a significant aspect of U.S. foreign policy. One major reason the United States has intensified its involvement in conflicts in the Middle East and the Ukraine crisis is that prolonged warfare serves the interests of the American military-industrial complex.

On April 20, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a 95-billion-U.S. dollar legislative package for security assistance to Ukraine and Israel, with 14.1 billion dollars in aid to Israel and 60 billion to Ukraine. The majority of these funds benefit U.S. defense contractors. In 2023, U.S. military equipment sales to foreign governments surged by 16 percent, reaching a record 238 billion dollars.

What has "American-style democracy" brought to the world? It has fostered "neo-Monroeism" in Latin America, "color revolutions" in Eurasia, and the "Arab Spring" in the Middle East and North Africa.

William Hartung, a senior fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, noted that the military-industrial complex thrives on continuous revenue and unwavering support from Washington, arguing that weapons companies are complicit in ongoing humanitarian crises. This practice "in no way fits the category of defending democracy."