Reflecting Back on "Annus Horriblis" from the Middle East

This article could have been written by Robert Mayer, Will Franklin, The Anchoress, or A. M. Mora y Leon, but instead it was written by Iranian exile, Amir Taheri and it is printed in the Gulf Times and Arab News.

In taking another look at 2005, Ameri decides…

It wasn’t such a bad year after all.

Tired of reading bad news for a whole year? Well, here is some relief: 2005, designated by doomsayers as annus horriblis, drew to a close as one of the best years of the new century so far.

Let us start with the good political news.

The annual report of Freedom House, which measures the advance of liberty across the globe, describes 2005 as the best year since the reports started in 1975. Of the 198 member-states of the United Nations only eight Cuba, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Sudan, Uzbekistan, Syria and Libya experienced setbacks in terms of freedom in 2005. By contrast 27 nations advanced towards greater freedom an all time record. In Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine peaceful revolutions succeeded in toppling despotic regimes and installing people-based governments. There were clean elections in other countries emerging from decades of dictatorship, civil war and anarchy. One was Liberia, arguably the world’s most unfortunate nation in recent memory.

It was also in 2005 that Afghanistan and Iraq adopted new democratic constitutions. Afghanistan held presidential and parliamentary elections while Iraq organised a constitutional referendum and two general elections. Predictions that Afghanistan and Iraq were about to plunge into civil war or disintegrate proved groundless as did Noam Chomsky’s “scientific forecast” that six million Afghans would die as a result of their liberation from the Taliban…

(The Whole thing is excellent!)

Amir Taheri is the Voice of the Iraqis in the West and it is good to see he is getting some press in the Middle East as well.

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