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World democracy, the pros and cons

February 12, 2008

Re "Greatest show on Earth," Opinion, Feb. 7

Timothy Garton Ash expresses the ancient, and long-discredited, hope of the 1945 One Worlders, despite clear evidence that the United Nations has a majority of members that have always voted for the extinction of a member state, Israel. Several of them may pose a nuclear threat to various nations around the world, including Britain and the U.S. And yet Ash moons for an international vote expressing the "democratic will" of people everywhere.

Was he writing his Op-Ed about a year ago, when the people in the Gaza Strip voted to install the Hamas government of terror, which immediately did away with the Palestinian Authority parliament in that coastal enclave on the Mediterranean? May we never live to see the universal majority vote for a world caliphate, which leading Muslim terrorists like Osama bin Laden promulgate daily everywhere.

Jascha Kessler

Santa Monica

The presidential election does resemble a game or entertainment show in many ways, but, as Ash described, many people in the world care about it. We should never underestimate the positive messages that this show sends, especially to those who don't have the right to vote for their leaders. In a well-known joke, a U.S. president claims that Americans have a lot of freedom because they can openly criticize their president. A president of the former Soviet Union says people in his country also have such freedom because they too can freely criticize the American president.

Today, you would be amazed how closely a Chinese news website follows the U.S. election and the serious comments the readers make about the candidates, as if they could choose one of them. Unfortunately, they can't. Not only don't they have a chance to vote directly for their leaders, neither can they openly criticize their government. When we start to dislike something we take for granted, we should think about those who don't have it yet. For now, let's keep the show running.

Xuhui Li

Long Beach

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