The fact that the whole system has been erected on a foundation of colonial plunder, rape, and enslavement is lost in the eyes of these inflated egos.
How can a normal adult pretend Anglo-American behaviors across the world have anything to do with the furtherance of some noble human value?
Who in this world doesnt know how imperialist jargon like 'rule of law, human rights, democracy' and all that junk from the neocolonial toolbox is used to sheath obscene greed, war-mongering, glutton, capitalist skulduggery, outright banditry and theft.
Autocracy on the march
February 12, 2008 5:00 PM
An imminent landslide of elections in countries as diverse as Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Russia and Iran might persuade the unwary observer that democracy's global "forward march", in George Bush's plangent phrase, is proceeding apace.
But as Britain's foreign secretary, David Miliband, has become the latest to acknowledge, appearances can be deceptive.
The prospects of a free and fair poll in Zimbabwe next month seem all but nonexistent, despite the emergence of a credible alternative to Robert Mugabe.
Similar misgivings attend Pakistan's delayed, violence-marred general election next Monday, where Pervez Musharraf hopes to reassert his hold on power despite record-low popularity ratings.
In Russia, Vladimir Putin's hand-picked presidential successor, Dmitry Medvedev, is expected to sweep to preordained "victory". This event will mark the apogee of Putin's development of "managed" or "sovereign" democracy - a system of centralised political, institutional, media and electoral control that is proving a popular model for would-be autocrats everywhere.
Even the military junta that rules Burma, scene of a brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters last autumn, claimed this month to be following a democratic roadmap that included a constitutional referendum in May and general elections in 2010.
The opposition Burma Campaign UK said this "sham process" was a ploy to head off additional international sanctions. "This is a move away from democracy, not towards it," said the spokesman Mark Farmaner.
Many other examples of countries using manipulated and fraudulent polls to advance or underpin spurious democratic credentials are cited by Human Rights Watch in its annual report.
"In 2007 too many governments, including Bahrain, Jordan, Nigeria and Thailand, acted as if simply holding a vote is enough to prove a nation 'democratic'," it said.
HRW listed more than 25 countries where outright fraud, control of election machinery, blocking of opposition candidates, political violence, and media censorship were among methods used to ensure the "right" democratic outcome.
The tumultuous aftermath of Kenya's disputed December elections illustrates many of these tendencies.
Yet the report's main accusation was levelled at Washington, Brussels, and European capitals for allegedly frequently playing along with, or turning a blind eye to, abuses of the democratic process.
"By allowing autocrats to pose as democrats without demanding they uphold the civil and political rights that make democracy meaningful, influential democracies risk undermining human rights worldwide."
The reasons why western countries appear to behave this way are various. Some pseudo-democracies, notably Russia, are simply too big and too strategically important to boss around. If criticism becomes too forthright, the result can be dangerously counter-productive, as Britain has found to its cost in recent dealings with Moscow.
Other countries with problematic records, such as Nigeria or Azerbaijan, are too important in terms of oil and gas or other resources to challenge openly, though diplomatic pressure can be applied quietly.
Conversely, some countries are not seen as important enough to bother about, so when an election is stolen in Thailand, Belarus or Uzbekistan, it by and large stays stolen.
How western democracies should behave differently raises another set of questions. African politicians such as Ethiopia's Meles Zenawi say the west should uphold its own standards, which have slipped badly since 9/11, before seeking to impose them on others.
More fundamentally, he questions the wisdom of demanding instant, absolute, western-manufactured, Westminster-style democratic and civil values in countries where the biggest daily challenges remain basic human security, healthcare, education and getting enough to eat.
In his Oxford speech tonight, Miliband will address these issues. "We cannot impose democratic norms ... but we can play a role in backing demands for democratic governance and all that goes with it," he will say.
He will reject "a retreat into realpolitik", arguing that the aspiration to government by the people is universal. And he will reassert Tony Blair's theme that "democracy promotion" through pragmatic measures (and last-resort military intervention) is an honourable and necessary "mission".
But Miliband will also acknowledge that acceptance of democratic governance as the global model is far from assured - and that the trend may actually be turning in the opposite direction.
"The belief that there is an inevitable tide of history has been discredited ... we can no longer take the forward march of democracy for granted," the foreign secretary will warn.
And of all the many obstacles, he will say, one stands out: unlike the pseudo-democracies, the leaders of China - the next global superpower, which already wields massive international clout - show no interest in democracy at all. China's vote is a no vote - and that looks unlikely to change.