March 1, 2013 | 4 comments
February 12, 2013 | 0 comments
August 14, 2012 | 18 comments
August 12, 2012 | 16 comments
August 11, 2012 | 13 comments
John is right that freedom and democracy have advanced since Kirkpatrick wrote her essay in 1979, in no small part due to the collapse of the Soviet empire and Western victory in the Cold War. But I’d point out to you that none of these gains took place in the Middle East or North Africa where there is exactly one free country — Israel — and 78 percent of the countries (and 88 percent of the population) are not free. (I’m using the same Freedom House data.) Kuwait, Lebanon, and Morocco are partly free. Iraq and Afghanistan, beneficiaries of the “freedom agenda,” are not free. So the basic point that creating democracy is difficult remains valid today.
It’s true that U.S. support for autocratic regimes can, like other forms of intervention, inflame anti-American feelings in these countries. It’s equally true that there is a fair amount of anti-American and illiberal sentiment that already exists in these countries that will initially be empowered by elections. Again, we’ve seen Hamas, Hezbollah, and various other Islamist parties win free elections, perhaps soon to be joined by the Muslim Brotherhood.
But my point was never that the United States should either support the autocratic regimes or decline to criticize repression where it is found. I’m simply arguing that we should generally avoid picking winners and losers in other countries’ political disputes, especially in cases where our genuine knowledge is limited and the line of demarcation between the “good guys” and the “bad guys” isn’t clear. It isn’t always 1979, but it isn’t always 1938, 1989 or 1991 either. In some places, 1979 would be an improvement.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?