Words like Democracy, Freedom, Liberty, do not mean the same things to all people.

To Americans, a country is a democracy if it agrees with US policies.

Elections can be mostly media events, it does not matter if only a few of the people vote, and it does not matter whether the votes are accurately counted.
This view, however is not universally shared by the world’s people, even those who live in countries targeted for “democracy” by Washington’s warlords.

A study prepared by a panel advising the Defense Department says that Muslims do not yearn to be liberated by the United States…

“There is no yearning-to-be-liberated-by-the-U.S. groundswell among Muslim societies — except to be liberated perhaps from what they see as apostate tyrannies that the U.S. so determinedly promotes and defends,” the 102-page report said. link

While the American definition of freedom and liberty includes indefinite imprisonment without charges, torture, sexual predation, shutting down newspapers, murdering journalists and putting tape on the mouths of those who criticize the US, many people around the world have something else in mind when they hope for freedom and liberty.

When Bush says he will bring freedom and democracy to the world, what comes into the world’s mind is Fallujah, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Mazar al Sharif, Palestine.

When he speaks of tyranny, the world thinks of many regimes installed and maintained by the US for the express purpose of preventing the people from choosing their own government and enacting their own policies that may not be advantageous to US business interests.

Lately some in Washington have begun to speak of how the Iraqi people must rise up and defend their country. Many Iraqis are doing just that, and the US calls them insurgents and terrorists.

What the Americans mean is that Iraqis must kill their neighbors when ordered to do so by American soldiers.

While this redefinition of words and phrases has without question been invaluable in maintaining domestic support for US policies, they have been just as effective at obliterating the possibility of dialogue and negotiation.

This is no accident, and ironically is one of the more transparent and honest aspects of US policy, built as it is on the primordial principle that the world is US property, that self-defense is a privilege that can be granted or revoked only by the US.

In the US itself, democracy involves the 25% richest people choosing which protege of which corporation will represent that corporation before the warlords as they decide which population it will be most profitable to exterminate next. Almost invariably, the winner of any election is the candidate with the most money. American democracy involves aborted elections, where registrations are discarded, votes that are not counted at all, votes that no one really knows what they were because they are recorded (or not) on sophisticated computer programs that have no system of checks and balances.

While some may cling to the archaic notion of democracy as having to do with everyone in a polity having a voice, few would suggest that if, for example, the people of Arabia were tomorrow magically relieved of their princes and went about the business of choosing a representative government accountable to the populace, that the result would be at all pleasing to US defense and energy industries.

Such a government would in fact, not be considered a democracy by the US, who would immediately launch “operations” to effect “regime change” and bring American-style freedom and democracy to Arabia, most likely by re-installing the princes, or maybe they would go for an elected president, like, say, Egypt.

Dictionaries and reference works notwithstanding, the US has effectively redefined and remade democracy in the image it has chosen, and it is not a system of government anyone would want, it is incompatible with the continuance of human life on earth.

In so doing, they have made democracy into global public enemy number one, and given billions of people all over the world almost as many reasons to hate freedom.

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