So let me get this straight….The moment the democratically elected government is undemocratically reconfigured is the right time for aid to be re-instated? hmmm, now what lesson does this send to those for whom this aid is rightly intended?
Tangentially, can we please put the absolutist democracy promotion rhetoric to rest. Yes, democracy is good, but for a whole host of good and bad reasons, its promotion alone does not make a cohesive foreign policy narrative. My guess, post-bush, is that democracy will slip off the top-tier list of guiding principles for US foreign policy. There are simply too many counter-factuals for it to be instructive in and of itself.
ps. just to be clear, I’m not making a judgment on the reinstating of aid, or on any policy that rewards undemocratic behavior, or on democracy being a good thing (ok, I am on this, I DO think its a pretty good thing). Rather, I am making a judgment on those who claim that in certain cases the promotion of democracy is an absolute, and in other cases it is well, a little more flexible. Democracy can have good and bad implications, depending wholly on how free people choose to act. Foreign policy must therefore be based on more than simply its “promotion”. It is not a particularly useful meta-narrative.