Tag Archives: American

How Race, Xenophobia Are Defining American Democracy

The following is the third in a series of articles on democracy. The first article, on the Arab Spring can be found here and the second article on the EU can be found here.

During the 1980s, despite his hawkish attitude towards the Soviet Union and his placement of US nuclear missiles in Europe, President Ronald Reagan reached agreement on the reduction of nuclear weapons with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Some historians say that Reagan’s challenge to the Soviet system was one of the reasons for the downfall of communism.

Fast forward to December 2012 where the US Senate fails to muster the two-thirds majority required for ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. They failed because Republicans feared the Tea Party would go against them for making deals with the UN, a “foreign power”.

It is a sad statement on the state of democracy in America today—those who claim to be Reagan’s followers have no clue as to how his legacy was developed. It is all a testament to the role race and xenophobia are playing in the political gridlock that is today’s American democracy. Continue reading


Republicans Say Drill Baby Drill, Saudis Say Solar Is The Way Forward

The definition of insanity: the world’s greatest oil producing nation is looking to dramatically increase its use of solar and other renewable energy sources, while the Republican Party of the world’s greatest oil consuming nation is saying “drill baby drill”.

The Saudi government has decided that, for both economic and environmental reasons, it should reduce its consumption of oil in favor of renewable energy. The plan is that by 2032 a third of the country’s electricity will be solar. Given that the Saudis are planning to invest US$109 billion in solar power it appears that they are putting their money where their mouth is.

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The Arab Conquest and Democracy: A Response to Professor Chaney on Zakaria’s GPS

Dear Professor Chaney

I am a great fan of Fareed Zakaria’s GPS on CNN. On his program of April 8 he featured a proposition put forward by yourself, and which is also stated in his blog entry Zakaria: Explaining the Arab world’s democracy deficit as follows:

“The democracy deficit today exists in lands that were conquered by Arab armies after the death in A.D. 632 of the Prophet Muhammad”.

While very clearly stating that Islam as of itself cannot explain this deficit, the argument still focuses on things Islamic and it leaves me puzzled as to the nature of and the reasons for its omissions.   Continue reading

Americans Have Noone To Fear But Themselves

Politics is the new religion in America but unlike other religions it is not about right and wrong, it is about right and left—and that makes it highly destructive

There is no power on earth that can overcome America neither economically nor militarily—not al Qaeda, not China nor any other adversary. Like any great power the greatest threat to the US lies within—from its politicians and its people. Given that people deserve the politicians they get I see no reason to make any distinction between the two.

The fact is that the nation is being ill-served by both. The main source of the problem is that Americans are singularly insular in thoughts, actions and beliefs in respect of what America can or cannot do. That insularity has also made them blind to the realities of a changing world.

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