Friday, December 17, 2004

The Case for Democracy

Natan Sharansky, a former Soviet dissident and political prisoner who is the co- author (with Ron Dermer) of the new book "The Case For Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror", was a guest of Frontpage Interview. Here is the link to that interview.

An excerpt:
-- The sceptics should remember that when I became a dissident in the 1970s, I knew that I could be arrested and imprisoned, but I also believed that the free world would stand with me. That is a comfort that potential dissidents in the Arab world do not have. Not only have the regimes they are confronting treated them with impunity, the free world has also remained silent.

Once that changes, once the free world encourages democratic forces within the region, once it links its policies toward states in the region to the degree of freedom they provide their own citizens, nothing will stop the march of freedom.

What will be needed is a joint effort that crosses partisan and ideological lines. In the Cold War, security hawks and human rights activists joined forces in confronting the Soviet Union. This historic partnership was critical in ending the Cold War. Today, that partnership must be reconstituted. Security hawks must understand that security and democracy are inextricably linked. Likewise, human rights activists must understand that the struggle for human rights cannot be detached from the struggle to promote democracy around the world. I believe that by bringing these two groups together, the Bush administration can succeed in its historic task of promoting democracy in the Middle East.

If a united free world stands up for democracy, I have no doubt freedom, and ultimately peace, can prevail.

Not too long ago, Mr. Saransky was invited to the White House to meet with Condi Rice and then with President Bush. Here is part of what he told Mr. Bush during that meeting:

"I told the president, 'There is a great difference between politicians and dissidents. Politicians are focused on polls and the press. They are constantly making compromises. But dissidents focus on ideas. They have a message burning inside of them. They would stand up for their convictions no matter what the consequences.'

"I told the president, 'In spite of all the polls warning you that talking about spreading democracy in the Middle East might be a losing issue — despite all the critics and the resistance you faced — you kept talking about the importance of free societies and free elections. You kept explaining that democracy is for everybody. You kept saying that only democracy will truly pave the way to peace and security. You, Mr. President, are a dissident among the leaders of the free world.'

This interview is very insightful and gives the perspective of someone who has "been there".

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Heart of America

Read this letter from a soldier in Iraq posted over on Blackfive. You'll be glad you did.

(hat tip Mud & Phud)

Also read this column about the Ardennes battle Sixty years ago at dawn by Paul Greenberg ---- Mark

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Mark Steyn is back and warmer than ever

It's good to see that there is a new Mark Steyn column available. As always, Mark Steyn is on target, noticing that Lefties want everything to evolve, except nature.
Does the impending extinction of the Japanese and Russians not distress anyone? How about the Italians? They gave us the Sistine Chapel, the Mona Lisa, Gina Lollobrigida, linguine, tagliatelle, fusilli. If you're in your scuba suit down on the ice shelf dining with the krill and you say you'd like your algae al dente in a carbonara sauce, they'll give you a blank look. Billions of years on Earth and all they've got is the same set menu they started out with. But try and rouse the progressive mind to a "Save the Italians" campaign and you'll get nowhere. Luigi isn't as important as algae, even though he, too, is a victim of profound environmental changes: globally warmed by Euro-welfare, he no longer feels the need to breed.
Fortunately for the United States, America has the option of accepting young immigrants, which might prevent a European style demographic time bomb from exploding and destroying its economy. America is an idea as well as a country. Even the Irish and Italians figured out how to be Americans after decades of trying (I am half Irish and half Italian). So, America reinvents itself every generation or so with the energy of new attitudes and new immigrants. Europe seems to have failed, for some reason, in the technique of assimilating immigrants. Here's more from Steyn's column....
Even Chesterton, who observed that once man has ceased to believe in God he'll believe in anything, might have marvelled at how swift the decay from post-Christian to post-evolutionary. Like the old song says: What's it all about – algae?