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This transcript appears in the December 10, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Our Own Democracy Is In Bad Shape

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Asked about President Biden’s planned “Summit for Democracy,” former U.S. Ambassador Chas Freeman responded in a Nov. 30 interview with EIR. The full hour-long video and transcript of the Nov. 30 EIR interview with Ambassador Freeman are available here.

We’re about to have a Summit on Democracy, which is ironic, because our own democracy is clearly in bad shape. And we are evaluated internationally as having a partially failed democracy. So, this is an odd moment to be attempting to trumpet the virtues of the system we ourselves are abandoning. But by trying to reorganize the world along ideological lines—democracies versus authoritarian regimes or non-democracies—the whole conceit was ridiculous!

Because authoritarians—I know lots of autocrats, I’ve dealt with many of them over the years. I’ve never met one who was the least concerned about others. They don’t think they have anything in common, they’re concerned to stay in power, not to keep other autocrats in power.

So, there’s no international league of autocrats, but we are creating one. Because by excluding countries that don’t meet or aspire to sycophancy in the democratic sphere, by assembling them as a sort of broad coalition aimed at Russia and China, we have stimulated Russia and China to issue a joint declaration against this, and then try to organize their own coalition.

So, we are trying to replicate the Cold War. I don’t think we’ll succeed, because basically the underlying proposition that somehow the United States is currently in a condition to appeal on a democratic basis to the world is problematic. And I don’t think countries want to choose between the United States and its designated adversaries, whether they are China or Russia or Iran.

We are in effect, creating the very phenomenon we invented and imagined. And it’s not to our advantage.... This smacks of geopolitics rather than ideology. And it will be interesting to see how it goes. Here we are in a country where it’s very uncertain that we will make it through our next general election without violence, or that there will be a peaceful transition in 2024 or 2025, when we have our next Presidential election. This is an odd moment to be insisting that others democratize. Perhaps we should focus on practicing democracy at home. I’m all in favor of democracy. I’d like to see more of it here.

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