24 Feb
Posted in: Blog
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Not long ago, liberals scoffed at the notion promoted by former Secretary of State Condi Rice and the last administration that the Middle East was ripe for democracy and that, if given the chance, the local population would embrace freedom, however difficult the transition might be.
“Oh no!” our liberal friends retorted. The Middle East, according to the Democrats, was too “politically entrenched” and had too long a history of authoritarianism to allow democracy to “take root.” Therefore, they concluded, our efforts in Iraq will come to naught and the entire region is destined to be forever ruled by despots.
Today we see an Iraq, though certainly not perfect, moving tenuously toward democracy. No question that the road there has been difficult and the American sacrifice enormous, but there is no denying that progress toward creating a civil society based upon democratic principles is being made.
I contend that it is this very progress at establishing democracy in Iraq which has encouraged and fostered the recent events in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and elsewhere. Yes, you read that right, I believe that the former administration’s commitment to establishing a democracy in Iraq is, in part, responsible for the great wave of protests and demands for democracy currently sweeping through the region.
And yet, despite this success (not unlike our success at defeating communism in 1989), where is America today? What is she doing to encourage this historic and inspiring march toward freedom? Are we managing the process with the skill and adeptness that President George H.W. Bush and his team used in 1989? Sadly, the answer is a resounding “No.” Rather than encouraging the calls for freedom, Mr. Obama has decided that the cautious approach is best, lest we “incite the thugs” and “encourage the violence.” President Carter (oh, sorry, I meant President Obama) doesn’t want to rock the boat, much like a hostage negotiator doesn’t want to upset a hostage taker.
With all due respect to Mr. Obama, I contend that if the United States is to continue to be the world’s “beacon of freedom,” we must never be afraid to speak out in support of democracy. Relationships and despots may come and go, but if America is to mean anything beyond just making money, worrying about how much gas costs and playing it safe, then we must be prepared to speak out and act in support of democracy no matter how risky or unpopular it might be (just ask George W. Bush). Only then, my friends, can we look in the mirror and really call ourselves Americans.

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