• Hanno, Saitama


Regarding Brahma Chellaney’s Nov. 8 article, “America’s troubling support for oil-rich Islamist regimes“: The double-standard of sanctioning a theocracy in Libya, of course, arises because of Western support for representative democracy, which is itself a imposition of the majority’s values on the minority. This is legitimized by token gestures such as bicameral senates, ombudsmen and referendums, but since these are based on arbitrary statutes, they do not represent improvement.

Although we in the West have far more likelihood of rational discourse, it is not guaranteed because reason is ultimately not the standard of value; instead, vested interests are. It’s the same in Libya. The theocracy is a justification for the material interests of tribal groups linked to the clerics. So, we have either the Arab or the Western franchise for tyranny: Heads you lose, tails you lose.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

andrew sheldon

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