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India reminds us why we want democratic allies

Clifford D. May
9th June 2016 - Quoted by Jennifer Rubin - The Washington Post

The Post reported: “Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, denied a visa to enter the United States for nearly a decade, on Wednesday addressed a joint meeting of Congress, declaring that India and the United States are ‘natural allies’ and urging the two nations to establish even closer ties.” That’s a far cry from the days when Modi was barred from entering the United States “because of his failure to stop a series of deadly riots in 2002 by Hindus against minority Muslims in the Indian state of Gujarat, where he was chief minister.”

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India is a prime example of why a truly realistic foreign policy should care very much about the internal dynamics and values of other countries. “Democracies are better allies. Elected leaders have a legitimacy and a mandate,” explains Cliff May of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “Non-elected rulers lack both. We want to deal with officials who are accountable to their citizens, not rulers who oppress their subjects.” Those that abuse human rights, repress religious and ethnic minorities and deny civil liberties to their own people tend to use external aggression to secure their power. Agreements with such regimes are problematic insofar as nontransparent, unfree countries make deals hard to monitor and enforce.

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Read the full article here.

Tags

authoritarianism, democracy, foreign-policy, india, modi