In his 2004 study of US support for democracy after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Thomas Carothers found that:BBC: Obama interview: the transcript
Justin Webb: Do you regard President Mubarak as an authoritarian ruler?
President Obama: No, I tend not to use labels for folks. He has been a stalwart ally in many respects, to the United States. He has sustained peace with Israel, which is a very difficult thing to do in that region. But he has never resorted to, you know, unnecessary demagoging of the issue, and has tried to maintain that relationship. So I think he has been a force for stability. And good in the region. Obviously, there have been criticisms of the manner in which politics operates in Egypt. And, as I said before, the United States' job is not to lecture, but to encourage, to lift up what we consider to be the values that ultimately will work - not just for our country, but for the aspirations of a lot of people.
Which is an understatement really, but it's no different than it's policy during the Cold War: 'Democracy is fine IF it conforms to US strategic and economic interests, but never substantive democracy, as British scholar Gordon Connell-Smith observes:Where democracy appears to fit in well with US security and economic interests, the United States promotes democracy. Where democracy clashes with other significant interests, it is downplayed or even ignored.
With the Clinton administration in particular, I just happen to have this handy:Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House - the CFR's counterpart in Brittain): The Inter-American system
While paying lip-service to the encouragement of representative democracy in Latin America, the United States has a strong interest in just the reverse. [Apart from] procedural democracy, especially the holding of elections — which only too often have proved farcical. Functioning democracy may respond to popular concerns, while the United States has been concerned with fostering the most favorable conditions for her private overseas investment.
Not even mentioning Clinton's death squads in East Timor, military aid to Suharto, shielding and harboring of Haitian death squads, and enforcing Austerity and Mercantilist free trade agreements on Haiti which destroyed what was left of the economy.Amnesty International: Human rights and US security assistance
Throughout the world on any given day, a man, a woman or child is likely to be displaced, tortured, killed or "disappeared," at the hands of governments or armed political groups. More often than not, the United States shares the blame.
Then we have..
Larry Summers: We should dump our toxic waste in low wage countries
In December 1991, while chief economist for the World Bank, Lawrence Summers wrote an internal memo saying that the Bank should encourage migration of "the dirty industries" to the less-developed countries. The memo states:
Despite this memo receiving wide distribution and condemnation, Summers, in 1999, was appointed Secretary of the Treasury by President Clinton. This was a promotion from being Undersecretary of the Treasury-for intemational affairs.The New York Times - Furor on Memo At World Bank
A given amount of health-impairing pollution should be done in the country with the lowest cost, which will be the country with the lowest wages. I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest-wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.
After Summers' departure from the Obama team, in a handsome tribute, Obama issued a statement saying:
I will always be grateful that at a time of great peril for our country, a man of Larry's brilliance, experience and judgment was willing to answer the call and lead our economic team.