The cause for democracy seems to be growing weaker as dictatorial regimes succeed in exporting their brand of government. With democracy on the defensive, President Obama’s pro-democracy speech to the UN General Assembly wherein he spoke of standing up for “universal values” and “for the freedom of others” was indicative of a commitment to the cause of democracy. The president’s upcoming trip to Asia is intended to flesh out his rhetoric, but time will show whether Obama’s actions follow his words. Heretofore the Obama administration has not made a strong stand for democracy in foreign affairs, and the administration’s stance on the war in Afghanistan–namely, that Afghanistan can never be a real democracy and that the war was never about freedom for the Afghan people–undermines Obama’s current message.
Hiatt is the editorial page editor of The Post.