Even as President Obama continues to proclaim that his administration forwards liberty around the globe, democracy apparently declined across the globe for the seventh consecutive year, according to the international watchdog Freedom House. Obama said in his second inaugural address that “We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom.”
According to the report, 27 countries experienced further cutbacks on the right to assemble and the right to free expression. Just 43 percent of people around the world had “full political rights and civil liberties.”
Freedom House was skeptical of the much-vaunted Arab Spring, suggesting that its grand effects were counterbalanced by drawbacks elsewhere:
The gains that were recorded in Tunisia, and to a considerably lesser extent in Egypt and Libya, were offset by more dubious trends elsewhere in the region. Indeed, the overthrow of autocrats in these countries provoked determined and often violent responses in many others, most notably in Syria, where by year’s end the Assad dictatorship had killed over 5,000 people in its efforts to crush widespread antigovernment protests.
The report actually overstates the gains of the Arab Spring; in truth, far less than the number of people labeled beneficiaries of full or partial liberty are in fact such beneficiaries. The Obama administration has condemned millions around the globe to generations of Islamism, all the while promoting his political career by borrowing from dictatorial China. This administration has been a massive failure in spreading democracy. And no amount of rhetorical magic will undo the damage that has been done.