Wednesday, May 04, 2005

A degree of integrity that the silent majority of the unfree world can appreciate far more than any cloying efforts to win friends by wooing despots

… it has been a while since the American press was flooded with anguished soul-searching articles exploring whether or not the rest of the world — especially in those quarters dominated by tyrants — loves us
writes Claudia Rosett.
In keeping with the doctrine of democratization that Mr. Bush put forward three years ago, the focus has switched to what we appreciate about our own values. With that comes a degree of integrity that the silent majority of the unfree world can appreciate far more than any cloying efforts by Washington to win friends by wooing despots who claim illegitimately to speak for their people.

The results have been much written about in recent times, but they bear noting again. As happened when President Reagan stood fast and spoke up in the 1980s about the "evil empire," places deemed lost to the free world have been waking up. Not only are we seeing a huge movement for democracy in Lebanon, along with stirrings in Egypt and even Syria and Saudi Arabia. Last week, in Washington, a North Korean defector announced the founding in this country of a group of North Korean dissidents-in-exile, dedicated to replacing what is probably the worst tyranny on the planet with a free society. It is a small beginning, but it is one more sign of a world changing for the better.

…overall, we have entered in era in which America— more than at any time since Ronald Reagan's presidency — speaks the truth and appreciates the worth of its own system, which is what has made it both powerful and free. More tough tests lie ahead. But I think it is worth taking a moment, in spring, to note how well we have weathered those of recent years.

Speaking of Ronnie, and with the European constitution in the news cnstantly, take a moment to read the following quote:
I had a copy of the Soviet Constitution and I read it with great interest. And I saw all kinds of terms in there that sound just exactly like our own: 'Freedom of assembly' and 'freedom of speech' and so forth. Of course, they don't allow them to have those things, but they're in there in the constitution. But I began to wonder about the other constitutions -- everyone has one -- and our own, and why so much emphasis on ours.

And then I found out, and the answer was very simple -- that's why you don't notice it at first. But it is so great that it tells the entire difference. All those other constitutions are documents that say, 'We, the government, allow the people the following rights,' and our Constitution says 'We the People, allow the government the following privileges and rights.' We give our permission to government to do the things that it does. And that's the whole story of the difference --why we're unique in the world and why no matter what our troubles may be, we're going to overcome.

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