Liz Cheney has a great piece up at The New York Post:
NO TIME TO GIVE UP ON DEMOCRACY
ARAB YOUTH YEARN TO BE HEARD
YOU can certainly debate whether America was right to go to war in Iraq, or whether our nation is being effective in promoting democracy in the Middle East. But it seems absurd to argue that spreading democracy in the Middle East is a bad or failed idea. It is, by any objective measure, a good and right idea – and a necessary policy for America today.
For decades, the terrorists have known that they can prey most effectively in societies where young people live in despair, where they have no hope for a better future here on earth – societies with brittle, autocratic regimes and closed, static economic systems.
For too many years, America perpetuated this status quo. We supported those authoritarian regimes; we ignored the aspirations of their people. This policy – essentially what we’d return to, if we give up on supporting democracy – brought only a false sense of security and stability.
Young people in the Arab world, as elsewhere, yearn for the freedom to be heard. They yearn to stand for something larger than self. They yearn to control their own destinies and choose their own leaders – and only democracy can fulfill those aspirations…
And America’s actions in this regard matter. As an Egyptian reformer said recently, “When the outside world softens its call for reform, regimes are emboldened to ignore their citizens’ rights.” The knowledge that we’re on their side empowers and strengthens those fighting for freedom. Abandoning them would be unjust and unwise.
Indeed, abandoning America’s push for democracy in the Middle East – returning to the policy of support for autocrats, turning our backs on the aspirations of the Arab people – would do grave damage to our credibility and image there.
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I hope Barak Obama reads this.
Yesterday, Obama promised the Iranian regime he would not seek “regime change” if they started behaving. What a horrible promise to make to the suffering Iranian people who yearn for freedom from the mullahs.
Giving up on democracy means giving up on the people under tyranny who yearn for freedom. Sadly, in today’s political arena there is one party that has scoffed at spreading democracy. They say it cannot be forced on a society– So do dictators.
Let’s hope that this does not become the new policy once Bush leaves office. There was nothing more horrible than watching the helpless students and monks in Burma get plowed down by the junta. The various democracy movements need to know they can count on the US for support.
Let’s pray they can.
Hat Tip Jules Crittenden