As long as people are people, democracy in the full sense of the word, will always be no more than an ideal. In this sense, you too are merely approaching democracy. But you have one great advantage: you have been approaching democracy uninterruptedly for more than 200 years, and your journey toward the horizon has never been disrupted by a totalitarian system.
Larry Berman & Bruce A. Murphy, Approaching Democracy 3 (2d ed. 1999); see also President William J. Clinton, Address to a Joint Session of the Nigerian National Assembly (Aug. 26, 2000), available at http://usembassy.state.gov/nigeria/wwwhclin.html.
[I]ts a new one on me that Nigerian democracy is struggling to get off theground . . . . I am learning that from you; now that you have told me, I will have to go back to President Bush and ask him to come and help me get Nigerian democracy off the ground . . . . We are not struggling; we are a maturing democracy . . . . Nigerian democracy has gotten off the ground.
Charles Cobb Jr. & Reed Kramer, Our Democracy is WorkingObasanjo, Thisday, May 19, 2001, at 13.
[D]emocratic countries do not go to war with one another or sponsor terrorism against other democracies . . . do not build weapons of mass destruction to threaten one another . . . are more reliable, open, and enduring trading partners, and offer more stable climates for investments; are more environmentally responsible [given that they must answer to their own citizens] . . . more likely to honor international treaties and value legal obligations [given that their openness makes it much more difficult to breach these agreements in secret] . . . [and are a] reliable foundation on which to build a new world order of security and prosperity [given that they respect civil liberties, rights of property, and the rule of law within their own borders].
Id. at 26970.
Nigeria has spent more on international peacekeeping operations than the United States, Britain, France or any of the other Western industrial powers. When Western European powers were debating whether to send troops to end the conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo, Nigerian peacekeepers were at work in west Africa.
Time was when African states could rely on a post-colonial superpower patronage to build their infrastructure, or at least subsidize their elites. One superpower has collapsed and the other is devoting its energies to propping it up. Africa must look to the once vilified multinational companies . . . for sponsorship, and it will be painful.
(Cited in Peter Lyon, The Ending of the Cold War in Africa, in Conflict in Africa 179 (Oliver Furley ed., 1995)).
In this global campaign, the United States welcomes the help of any country or party that is genuinely prepared to work with us, but we will not relax our standards and we will continue to advance our fundamental interests in human rights, accountable government, free markets . . . for we believe that a world of democracy, opportunity and stability is a world in which terrorism cannot thrive.