“Spectacular failure” of U.S.-style democracy implementation in targeted countries, asserts expert

The whole purpose of democracy is inclusiveness. There is nothing inclusive about it here. This is about trying to create coalitions of the willing to participate in a us versus them competition

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This photo taken on Jan. 19, 2023 shows the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., the United States. (Photo by Ting Shen/Xinhua)

Washington’s attempts to impose a U.S.-style democracy on countries like Iraq and Libya using primarily military means have been a “spectacular” failure. These countries are now left in a state of limbo and destruction, a renowned U.S. expert has said.

“The U.S. has been its own worst enemy over these past 20 years in the way it has gone to kind of hammer democracy into shape in these countries using primarily military means or (means of) coercion. It has not worked well. It’s hurting itself in the long run,” Sourabh Gupta, a senior fellow at the Institute for China-America Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, told Xinhua in an interview on Friday.

“Democracy, whoever’s style, cannot be imposed with a hammer upon any society. Whatever form of political representation arises in the society from the ground level up, one must understand local circumstances and local situations, and on that basis, build a political representative institution,” said Gupta.

“I’m afraid the U.S. doesn’t have the patience… The U.S. is trying to do this top-down without understanding local societies. And it is pretty much understandable that it has failed and failed spectacularly in many countries on which it has tried to,” he said.

“And I would say beyond the patience, it is doing this for national interest purposes than for really deepening democracy per se,” said Gupta.

Gupta criticized Washington’s intention to hold the so-called Summit for Democracy as an attempt to sow division.

“The whole purpose of democracy is inclusiveness. There is nothing inclusive about it here. This is about trying to create coalitions of the willing to participate in a us versus them competition,” he said.

“That is the real problem behind this because what the Summit for Democracy does is that it does not get down to tackling many of the real issues that we face in the global system today, which requires for a more UN-centered and more inclusive approach to solutions. And that is not where the summit is leading, and that is unfortunate,” said Gupta.

The expert said, “little by little, the summit itself is flagging and losing its vitality.”

Gupta said the Summit for Democracy in 2021 did not produce any “key deliverable. “There was nothing really. It turned into a nice grand show without any meaning,” he said.

The summit is meant “more to divide than unite” because Washington has invited countries to attend “purely on the basis of the U.S. national interests,” he said.

“For some of those countries, if it was a pro-America aligned government, it got an invite. If it was a democracy, but did not have a pro-American government, it was disinvited… Frankly, the era of these democracy summits will be known more for the backsliding in terms of democracy than any real material improvement or deliverables coming out of these summits,” he said.

Xinhua News Agency

Founded in 1931, Xinhua News Agency is one of the largest news organizations in the world, with over 10,000 employees across the globe. As the main source of news and information for China, Xinhua plays a key role in shaping the country's media landscape and communicating its perspectives to the world. The agency produces a wide range of content, including text news articles, photos, videos, and social media posts, in both Chinese and English, and its reports are widely used by media organizations around the world. Xinhua also operates several international bureaus, including in key capitals like Washington, D.C., Moscow, and London, to provide in-depth coverage of global events.

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