Why Democracies in G7 & NATO Should Reject U.S. Leadership

ANGLO AMERICA, 21 Jun 2021

Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies – TRANSCEND Media Service

Protest at G7 summit in Cornwall UK. Photo credit: BPM Media

15 Jun 2021 – The world has been treated to successive spectacles of national leaders gathering at a G7 Summit in Cornwall and a NATO Summit in Brussels.

The U.S. corporate media have portrayed these summits as chances for President Biden to rally the leaders of the world’s democratic nations in a coordinated response to the most serious problems facing the world, from the COVID pandemic, climate change and global inequality to ill-defined “threats to democracy” from Russia and China.

But there’s something seriously wrong with this picture. Democracy means “rule by the people.” While that can take different forms in different countries and cultures, there is a growing consensus in the United States that the exceptional power of wealthy North Americans and corporations to influence election results and government policies has led to a de facto system of government that fails to reflect the will of the North American people on many critical issues.

So when President Biden meets with the leaders of democratic countries, he represents a country that is, in many ways, an undemocratic outlier rather than a leader among democratic nations. This is evident in:

  • the “legalized bribery” of 2020’s $14.4 billion federal election, compared with recent elections in Canada and the U.K. that cost less than 1% of that, under strict rules that ensure more democratic results;
  • a defeated President proclaiming baseless accusations of fraud and inciting a mob to invade the U.S. Congress on January 6 2021;
  • news media that have been commercialized, consolidated, gutted and dumbed down by their corporate owners, making North Americans easy prey for misinformation by unscrupulous interest groups, and leaving the U.S. in 44th place on Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index;
  • the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world, with over two million people behind bars, and systemic police violence on a scale never seen in other wealthy nations;
  • the injustice of extreme inequality, poverty and cradle-to-grave debt for millions in an otherwise wealthy nation;
  • an exceptional lack of economic and social mobility compared to other wealthy countries that is the antithesis of the mythical “North American Dream”;
  • privatized, undemocratic and failing education and healthcare systems;
  • a recent history of illegal invasions, massacres of civilians, torture, drone assassinations, extraordinary renditions and indefinite detention at Guantanamo—with no accountabllity;
  • and, last but not least, a gargantuan war machine capable of destroying the world, in the hands of this dysfunctional political system.

Fortunately though, North Americans are not the only ones asking what is wrong with U.S. democracy. The Alliance of Democracies Foundation (ADF), founded by former Danish Prime Minister and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, conducted a poll of 50,000 people in 53 countries between February and April 2021, and found that people around the world share our concerns about U.S. dystopian political system and imperial outrages.

Probably the most startling result of the poll to North Americans would be its finding that more people around the world (44%) see the United States as a threat to democracy in their countries than China (38%) or Russia (28%), which makes nonsense of U.S. efforts to justify its revived Cold War on Russia and China in the name of democracy.

In a larger poll of 124,000 people that ADF conducted in 2020, countries where large majorities saw the United States as a danger to democracy included China, but also Germany, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, France, Greece, Belgium, Sweden and Canada.

After tea with the Queen at Windsor Castle, Biden swooped into Brussels on Air Force One for a NATO summit to advance its new “Strategic Concept,” which is nothing more than a war plan for World War III against both Russia and China.

But we take solace from evidence that the people of Europe, whom the NATO war plan counts on as front-line troops and mass casualty victims, are not ready to follow President Biden to war. A January 2021 survey by the European Council on Foreign Affairs found that large majorities of Europeans want to remain neutral in any U.S. war on Russia or China. Only 22% would want their country to take the U.S. side in a war on China, and 23% in a war on Russia.

Few North Americans realize that Biden already came close to war with Russia in March and April, when the United States and NATO supported a new Ukrainian offensive in its civil war against Russian-allied separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk provinces. Russia moved tens of thousands of heavily-armed troops to its borders with Ukraine, to make it clear that it was ready to defend its Ukrainian allies and was quite capable of doing so. On April 13th, Biden blinked, turned round two U.S. destroyers that were steaming into the Black Sea and called Putin to request the summit that is now taking place.

The antipathy of ordinary people everywhere toward the U.S. determination to provoke military confrontation with Russia and China begs serious questions about the complicity of their leaders in these incredibly dangerous, possibly suicidal, U.S. policies. When ordinary people all over the world can see the dangers and pitfalls of following the United States as a model and a leader, why do their neoliberal leaders keep showing up to lend credibility to the posturing of U.S. leaders at summits like the G7 and NATO?

Maybe it is precisely because the United States has succeeded in what the corporate ruling classes of other nations also aspire to, namely greater concentrations of wealth and power and less public interference in their “freedom” to accumulate and control them.

Maybe the leaders of other wealthy countries and military powers are genuinely awed by the dystopian North American Dream as the example par excellence of how to sell inequality, injustice and war to the public in the name of freedom and democracy.

In that case, the fact that people in other wealthy countries are not so easily led to war or lured into political passivity and impotence would only increase the awe of their leaders for their U.S. counterparts, who literally laugh all the way to the bank as they pay lip service to the sanctity of the North American Dream and People.

Ordinary people in other countries are right to be wary of the Pied Piper of U.S.A. “leadership,” but their rulers should be too. The fracturing and disintegration of U.S. society should stand as a warning to neoliberal governments and ruling classes everywhere to be more careful what they wish for.

Instead of a world in which other countries emulate or fall victim to USA’s failed experiment in extreme neoliberalism, the key to a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous future for all the world’s people, including North Americans, lies in working together, learning from each other and adopting policies that serve the public good and improve the lives of all, especially those most in need. There’s a name for that. It’s called democracy.


Medea Benjamin is cofounder of CODEPINK for Peace, and author of several books, including Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran.



Nicolas J. S. Davies is an independent journalist, a researcher with CODEPINK and the author of Blood on Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 21 Jun 2021.

Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Why Democracies in G7 & NATO Should Reject U.S. Leadership, is included. Thank you.

If you enjoyed this article, please donate to TMS to join the growing list of TMS Supporters.

Share this article:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

One Response to “Why Democracies in G7 & NATO Should Reject U.S. Leadership”

  1. In fact, democracy means the rule of the people. But in practice, in some democratic countries, people are bought by their to-be representatives to be elected, and after being elected by them they keep or maintain distance from the people, and in this way, in the governance, there is no place for people. Here I would like to cite the sayings of President Abraham Lincoln about democracy: “Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people”, but the factual position of democracy in the present world is “Democracy as the government of ‘buy’ the people, ‘far’ the people, ‘off’ the people. However, where there are democracies, people are ruled not by themselves but by their representatives elected by them. People are governed by their brokers through proxy. There is reality if we people cannot eat by proxy, drink by proxy, marry by proxy, then why we people should be ruled by proxy. We people must be masters in our people houses for governance.

    If we wish, in future, no more like Socrates to be poisoned to death, no more like Christ to be crucified, no more like Bruno to be burnt, no more like John Huss to be burned at the stake, no more like Galileo to be forced to recant, no more like Plato to be thrown into prison, and no more like Dalai Lama, Solzhenitsyn, and Rigoberta Menchú to be exiled, no more like Aung San Suu Kyi to be kept under house arrest, and no more ‘genocide’, no more ‘ethnic cleansing’ and no more ‘global terrorism’ to be happened, and all people of the world to be free from hunger, disease and ignorance, let us create and establish sustainable genuine democracy through knowledge and practice of peace education based on universally inherent five elements, viz. body, vitality, mind, intellect and spirit in every man and woman everywhere without any discrimination for good governance and nonviolence.

    For more details one may refer to:

    Peace Education for Genuine Democracy, Good Governance and Nonviolence
    By Surya Nath Prasad, Ph. D., Transcend Media Service

    Politics of Good Governance for Nonviolence: The Role of Peace Education
    EDUCATION, 12 Oct 2015
    Surya Nath Prasad, Ph. D. – TRANSCEND Media Service

    Essential Requirement of Qualities in the Rulers and the Servants of People for Good Governance –
    The Role of Universal Peace Education
    By Surya Nath Prasad, Ph.D.

    A List of Articles, Speeches and Talks on Democracy for Enriching the Concept and Practice of Democracy
    By Surya Nath Prasad, Ph.D.

    The Chapter on “Universal Peace Education: Concept, Meaning and Practice” By Surya Nath Prasad, Ph.D. included in the book:
    Pour une éducation à la paix dans un monde violent (For Peace Education in a Violent World) Edited by Obrillant Damus, Christoph Wulf, Joseph P. Saint-Fleur, Denis Jeffrey Published by L’Harmattan, 2017: Paris, France

    A Video at UCN News Channel for
    Man-Making Peace Education
    By Prof. Surya Nath Prasad