mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Conference on Democracy Promotion
Panel Discussion: "Do the Internal Affairs of Other Nations Matter to Us?"

Elliot Abrams, Michael Mandelbaum, and Paula Dobriansky spoke on a panel entitled “Do the Internal Affairs of Other Nations Matter to Us?” as part of a recent conference on “Re-thinking Democracy Promotion Amid Rising Authoritarianism.” The conference was jointly sponsored by The American Interest, Freedom House, and Johns Hopkins-SAIS.

Features Icon
show comments
  • stefanstackhouse

    Yes, they do matter, but not just to us – rather they matter to all the other nations of the world equally. That is why any intervention in the internal affairs of any nation on behalf of its innocent citizens should always be a global – or at least regional – multi-lateral responsibility. It isn’t and shouldn’t be up to the US to intervene in every country righting every wrong.

    • Gene

      You recognize, of course, that your position guarantees that nothing will be done anywhere, by anyone? It’s the tragedy of the commons applied to foreign affairs.

      • stefanstackhouse

        You don’t need 100% of the nations of the world or even of a region to agree in order to do a multi-lateral intervention. If you can’t even round up a majority of the nations within a region to deal with a problem, then that should be telling us something, and we should be listening instead of just going in alone with guns blazing.

        As for the UN, sometimes that works and sometimes (maybe most of the time) that doesn’t. That is why I talk about regional as well as global interventions.

    • Corlyss

      “they matter to all the other nations of the world equally”

      Oiy Vey! Nosey Parker on steroids. I bet the UN, AI, and HRW give you a right proper thrill up your leg too.

  • Andrew Allison

    Only if they directly affect us. Surely we’ve seen enough of the catastrophic effects of attempting to impose US democratic values on other countries.

  • Pete

    Elliot Abrams —

    Iran-Contra affair

    During investigation of the Iran-Contra Affair, Lawrence Walsh, the Independent Counsel tasked with investigating the case, prepared multiple felony counts against Abrams but never indicted him. Instead, Abrams cooperated with Walsh and entered into a plea agreement wherein he pled guilty to two misdemeanors of withholding information from Congress.[26] He was sentenced to a $50 fine, probation for two years, and 100 hours of community service. However, Abrams was pardoned by President George H. W. Bush, in December 1992

    No prison time! What a gyp.

    • Corlyss

      ‘Spose it never occurred to you that those “crimes” are known in DC as the pointless results of baseless partisan investigations that never should have been undertaken in the first place. It was this kind of bogus investigation as well as the silly Clinton impeachment investigation and the downright insane prosecution and even sillier conviction of Scooter Libby that gave Special Prosecutors and Independent Counsels such an odious reputation that, with any luck at all, there will never be another one until everyone who understands the term “criminalization of policy differences” is long dead such that people don’t remember how partisan and foolish SPs and ICs are.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    No one seems to understand that the war in Iraq was an attempt to change the backward and murderous Islamic culture that is spawning these Jihadist Terrorists. It was thought that by planting a seed of Democracy into the middle of Muslim territory, the purple finger empowered citizens would begin changing the culture. It is clear that the Bush administration was successful in germinating the seed to a young and fragile sapling. But that Obama promptly abandoned the sapling as quickly as he could because success in Iraq would always be a Republican success. The excuses Obama has made for not keeping a few thousand troops in Iraq to protect America’s large investment of blood and treasure there, have been spurious and not credible. We absolutely could have saved our gains in Iraq, but now it’s to late. The best we can salvage is a strategy of “Divide and Conquer” to keep the Jihadists focusing all their resources on killing each other, leaving little left for murdering innocent Westerners.

    • FriendlyGoat

      Your first two sentences are correct. The rest of it is a self-serving political complaint intended to justify conservatives in our government.

      Iraq failed because the people revere Islam over freedom, democracy, self-determination and social progress. Egypt got to do its experiment without a war—-and its people elected the Muslim Brotherhood, of all stupid things. The re-emergence of Internal authoritarianism—-bad as it is—-is all that’s saving Egypt, even at this moment.

      Any gains in Iraq were not “ours” to save. They were for the Iraqi people to save, but Islam prevented them from doing so. Sometime or other, we all have to wake up and tell the truth about what we plainly see.

  • Mazhar Shah

    No not at all.. Never ever..

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service