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An all too common opinion is that we have long been the champions of fighting and promoting democracy on a global scale. Some of this stems from the fact that
those that perpetrated the attack are anti-western, anti-democratic theocrats and we represent their antithesis. However, this fact does not make the first
proposition correct. We have promoted democracy in Europe and Japan, but our record outside of Europe is decidedly lacking.

An excellent, well-written and thought-provoking post. Thanks very much. Our country is very self-involved, and with the exception of brief periods of wakefulness, usually brought on by a vicious attack or a stupid policy that gets young Americans killed, it always has been. Anybody heard anything about Chandra Levy in the last two weeks? Or the "lockbox"?

That said, let's not over-criticize ourselves for something that other major democracies, notably Britain, France, and Germany don't do either. When was the last time we heard about Germany promoting democracy anywhere? We need to play the lead role, of course, since we have the most resources.

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