Thursday, April 28, 2005

Community of Democracies

Today's Wall Street Journal has a commentary piece that starts off this way:

We scoured the papers and searched the Internet but couldn't find many references yesterday to the fact that Condoleezza Rice was in Chile leading the U.S. delegation to the fledgling Community of Democracies. Perhaps that's because this story doesn't fit with the prevailing diplomatic narrative of a cowboy America that refuses to play nicely with other nations.

We'll even go out on a limb with this prediction: While most of the 120 or so countries represented in Santiago may not envisage it yet, this Community could one day overshadow Kofi Annan's dictator-friendly talk shop on New York's East River.

The United Nations was conceived as a place where tyrannies and democracies could and should sit together on equal terms. That may have made sense in the aftermath of World War II, when free countries were in the clear minority. But nowadays that increasingly outdated premise results in such spectacles as Libya chairing the U.N. Human Rights Commission. It's also a problem that Mr. Annan's proposed reforms — which feature enlargement of the Security Council — do little to address.

Now, all of this was a big surprise to me — I've never heard of the Community of Democracies, much less know about Condi's visit. A little googling led to this news story, but the WSJ is generally correct: there is very little coverage of this most interesting organization. I suspect their hopes are mostly fantasy just now, but...sometimes fantasies become reality. And I share their view of the attractiveness of this type of organization, with membership available only for democracies. As an American, I'd much rather see my tax dollars headed that way than to Kofi's U.N...

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