Author<br><br>Mr. Khalid Taimur Akram


Mr. Khalid Taimur Akram

Executive Director,
Pakistan Research Center for a Community with Shared (PRCCSF), Islamabad

A Summit That Makes Mockery of Democracy

The United States held a summit called «Democracy Summit» again this year in late March. In this modern age where information is accessible, the US insists on fabricating its power through such summit by making a mockery of democracy while the hegemonic rhetoric throughout the history of its government is not hidden.

Instead of serving a name sake, the purpose of democracy should be sound governance for social progress and people’s better livelihood. Yet the US-trumpeted democracy has failed both in foreign lands and at home.

Just twenty years ago the US was claiming to let democracy reign while illegally invading Iraq and toppling the Saddam Hussein government, only to leave the once rich country in ruins; it was waving similar slogans in Libya, Egypt and other Arab countries in decades, only to make livelihood of those people more difficult. So far the US administrations have been hands-free not to bear consequences for such examples of failed democracy, instead some US officials continue boasting of their success in throwing out other countries’ legitimate governments. 

Moreover, the US military has used drone strikes in name of targeting suspected terrorists in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen; these strikes have resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians and violate international law.

Coming over to human right issue, in 2004 photos were released showing US military personnel torturing and abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The abuse included sexual assault, humiliation, and physical torture. The Guantanamo Bay detention center has been observed for holding detainees without trial or due process for extended periods, sometimes for years.

After toppling the former Ukrainian government in 2013, the United States is fueling war by providing military support to Ukraine. The US provided non-lethal aid, including communications equipment, body armor, and night-vision goggles in 2014 and began providing lethal aid, including anti-tank missiles, grenade launchers, and other weapons in 2015, apart from training and advisory support to Ukrainian military personnel.

The domestic politics of the USA are also dramatically weakening. Criticisms and challenges to the US democratic system are unavoidable. The Biden Administration gathered international actors at the summit with diverse topics on technology democracy, business democracy, anti-corruption policies in the economy, and Ukraine conflict. Many international relations experts find it hard to understand the summit agenda. Theoretical grounds of the summit are even unjustifiable while the practical framework is based on double standards and hypocrisy of USA.

In the summit, they highlight business, democracy and curbing the illegal flow of economy. However, the US has imposed sanctions on various countries over the years, and many of these countries are considered weaker economies. These sanctions can have a significant impact on the affected countries, their people, and their economies.

One of the primary understanding of US sanctions is that they can be illegal under international law, particularly when they are imposed unilaterally and without the approval of the United Nations Security Council. These sanctions can violate a country’s sovereignty and can cause significant harm to innocent civilians, such as through the denial of access to essential goods and services like food, medicine, and clean water.

These actions can have significant negative consequences for the economies and can even be illegal under international law. As such, the use of sanctions as a foreign policy tool must be carefully considered to ensure that they do not cause unnecessary harm to innocent civilians and contribute to instability in the affected regions.

It is ironic that the summit talked about stabilizing economies but in practice the US is destabilizing the international economies. Its business democracy has no legal grounds such as unequal distribution of power: Although business democracy is intended to give every employee a voice in decision-making, the reality is that such democracy may be difficult to implement in companies with entrenched hierarchical structures or where decision-making has traditionally been centralized.

Voter suppression is another vital issue that is repeatedly applied in US constituencies to make it more difficult for certain groups of people to vote, such as through voter ID laws or by reducing the number of polling places in certain areas. Major US parties are accusing each other of such practices that disproportionately affect marginalized communities and undermine the fairness of elections. In addition, gerrymandering in US politics, a process of manipulating the boundaries of electoral districts to favor a particular political party or group, can lead to unequal representation and an unfair advantage for certain groups.

There are concerns that the role of money in US politics can skew the political process in favor of wealthy individuals and corporations, leading to a lack of accountability and responsiveness to the needs of everyday citizens.

Many people believe that the increasingly partisan nature of American politics has led to a lack of cooperation and compromise between political parties, making it difficult to pass legislation that reflects the will of the people, exhibiting poor governance. Also, certain interest groups, such as the National Rifle Association, wield outsized influence and undermine the democratic principles of equal representation and fair competition.

US should clean its own house of politics, instead of making a mockery of democracy as it has done in its leadership history.

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