US-style democracy export arrogant, destabilizing, failure – Hungarian PM

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban © Lazslo Balogh
Hungary’s prime minister has blasted the Obama administration’s foreign policy, saying it is based on arrogance and disregards reality. Viktor Orban said exporting democracy US-style produces instability, migration and extremism.

Orban, an outspoken critic of EU’s handling of the refugee crisis, voiced concern that a potential Hillary Clinton presidency would keep the current Democrat foreign policy that caused the problem in the first place.

“America supports the global migration processes. Instead of working on helping everyone to stay in their own home country, they perceive global population movements as something positive, or at least natural. Therefore, they do not want to stop but manage this migration process. The Democrats and Hillary Clinton are the managers,” he told German newspaper Passauer Neue Presse in the wake of his visit to Bavaria.

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He added that the policy of toppling undemocratic governments in the Middle East, which was pursued under both Republican President George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama, simply does not work.

“America believes in the exportation of democracy. This sounds good; however, wherever it has been tried, entire regions often became destabilized, the consequences of which are suffering, death and migration. Additionally, often anti-democratic, extremist forces rose to power as a result of the free elections.

“Believing in the democracy export is arrogant because it fails to take the cultural structures of the given regions into consideration. But whether you like it or not, it is the culture that determines the political culture. Donald Trump openly states this, while Hillary Clinton defends the policy pursued to date,” Orban said.

The PM is a maverick in European politics, who challenged Brussel’s plan for refugee resettlement quotas. His government called a referendum this month on whether they wanted the EU to decide on Hungarian immigration policy without approval from the national parliament.

The vote failed to score a necessary turnout to become legally binding, but of those who did cast ballots over 98 percent voted against compromising Hungarian sovereignty. Despite being invalid, the referendum gave Orban justification to pursue a constitutional reform to curb Brussels’ power over Hungary.

The prime minister sees the EU as sliding towards what the Soviet Union was to Hungary, imposing communist ideology on a sovereign country. He believes that Islamic and European Christian civilizations should be kept apart, since trying to force them to mix and reconcile is unrealistic and hurtful for the Europeans in the long run.

“They cannot mingle, but can only exist side by side. This is the situation in the Middle East, and also in Europe. Our perceptions of the world are so different that they lead to parallel worlds. This is not a political issue, but the reality of life,” he said.

“The political problem lies in the fact that people always live in the present. The scope of political planning is being increasingly reduced to the four or five years of a government’s term. Politicians tend to feel responsible less and less for what will be in 15 to 20 years’ time. In places where Muslims arrive in large numbers, the world will change entirely in 20 years’ time,” he added.

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Critics accuse Orban of attacking liberal values and democratic freedoms in Hungary. He also stands accused of speaking against EU on foreign policy, including its stance on Russia. Unlike some other members of the union like Poland and the Baltic states the Hungarian leader doesn’t see Moscow as a military threat, advocates cooperation with Russia and considers the economic sanctions imposed against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine too costly and ineffective to preserve.