Two examples of U.S. support for democracy abroad:
U.S. policy on Iran (outlined by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton), where incumbent candidate President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad apparently legitimately won the election:
So, we were doing a lot to really empower the protesters without getting in the way. And we’re continuing to speak out and support the opposition.
U.S. policy on Honduras (outlined by Richard Verma, assistant secretary for legislative affairs), where the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya was ousted in a right-wing coup and forcibly deported to another country and has sought help in returning to his nation and to his legitimate place in office:
Our policy and strategy for engagement is not based on supporting any particular politician or individual.
We should be careful not to draw any wrong conclusions from this limited sample (there is no shortage of other examples). It’s not that the U.S. opposes democracy on principle. On the contrary, democracy is fine — just so long as the U.S. approves the leadership. Otherwise…