In my first interview on Al Jazeera I was
asked “why are you trying to be American more than Americans”? I responded that
I don’t take my American freedom, for granted, as many Americans do. I was born
and raised in hell and I moved to live in Paradise . I know the difference
between these two diametrically different worlds. I am now living the life I
choose to live, and not the life I was forced to live for the first three
decades of my life. Therefore, I feel morally obligated to defend it.
Freedom isn’t really free at all. It is paid
for in blood of those who fight for it
Spartan Queen Gorgo in 300
Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death
Freedom is one of the things most Americans cherish about their country and the general assumption is freedom is a good thing. When we think about it though we don't think freedom is always a good thing, since we lock criminals in jail. So our assumption is really freedom is a good thing for good people.
The belief that freedom is good presupposes that man is good and that when man has freedom of choice he will generally choose good. If one starts with the assumption that man is bad then it becomes logical to support a benevolent dictatorial government that indoctrinates men into being good and controls them so they can't be bad. When we look at what happened to Gaza after free elections we see that Hamas came to power. Free elections in Germany led Hitler to come to power. Free elections in Turkey threatens to bring a radical Islamic dictatorship (Turkey's Islamist Crossroads 7/9/07).
Clearly a benevolent dictatorial government would have been better in these cases. When we look at the chaos and murder that has occurred since the liberation of Iraq, the horrific dictatorship of Saddam begins to look better and better.
Tunisia in order to suppress Islamic radicalism has to outlaw religious political parties. Jacob Laksin wrote in frontpagemag.com that:
Suppressing Islamic radicalism, however, has made Tunisia a perennial punching bag for human rights watchdogs like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, who, not without justice, judge the country deficient by democratic standards.
Missing from this criticism is any awareness that an untrammeled democratic process would almost certainly empower Islamists. “They talk about democracy, but look what happens when these people come to power -- they’re against Jews, Westerners and they consider us [Tunisians] bad Muslims,” observes one government source, who does not deny that “repression” is a fact of life in the country, but who would talk only on condition of anonymity.
In one sense, the human rights groups are correct: repression is indeed an ugly word. But traveling around Tunisia -- where wine and beer is freely sold alongside traditional sweet mint tea; where Israeli tourists are welcome; and where the tiny Sephardic Jewish community enjoys government support and protection -- one is reminded that the regional lexicon provides for many worse alternatives. Unfortunately, as the success of Hamas in the Palestinian territories reminds us, one of them is democracy.
President Bush's policy is based on the idea that if we spread freedom and democracy throughout the world peace will spread with it. He has repetitively said how the Palestinian are good people yet when given the freedom to choose their leaders the Palestinian Arabs chose Hamas. The Iraqis when given the vote voted in Maliki. Maliki has been advising Iranians when an American attack would threaten them. Iranians have been blowing up Americans and Iraqis in Iraq. Freedom to vote in Iraq did not bring a good Iraqi leader into power. Democracy brought Hitler into power. Democracy clearly wasn't a good thing when it brought Hitler into power.
Vladimir Putin has been centralizing power in Russia and is probably behind the murder of journalists and others who criticize his policies. He clearly does not see democracy as a good thing in fact it probably is a threat to him since freedom led to many countries breaking away from the Soviet Union that want to be part of NATO which from his point of view is joining the enemy.
American officials talked with Chcchen Rebels against Putin's wishes who said they weren't freedom fighters they were terrorists and pointed out that Americans wouldn't talk with Bin Laden. After Chechnyans murdered Russian children at Beslan American support for non-military action against the Chechens may have antagonized Putin and turned him against the U.S.. The failure of the American supported elections in Gaza may have convinced him that the American policy of spreading freedom was actually counterproductive as must have the breaking away of what once was the Soviet Union.
China must see Taiwan as a threat even though Taiwan is not militarily capable of conquering the mainland. This is because the freedom of Taiwan might be seen as desirable by mainland Chinese and Taiwan is allied with the United States another beacon of freedom.
c o p y r i g h t ( c ) 1 9 9 9 - 2004 Karl Ericson Enterprises. All rights reserved
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