Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Freedom or Not?

While two emerging democracies in the Middle East have recently held elections neither of them have elected a majority of pro western politicians. Iraq has elected a parliament that favors Iran, and the Palestinians have voted Hamas into power.

Natan Sharansky, in his book The Case for Democracy, defines freedom with his town square measurement – can you announce your ideas openly in the town square without the risk of punishment? He also illustrates that people in a democracy with freedom abhor war and prefer open trade. If this is the case, and I emphatically state it is, then freedom and democracy in Iraq and Palestine may not mean an immediate U.S. Allie but it does mean less violence from them in the near future.

Rather than giving us what we wanted the Iraqi’s and Palestinians voted for what they wanted even if we think it was in ignorance. As their democracies mature they will identify political leaders who do and do not support their desires and will make corrections. After all, freedom does not exist in the first election or the latest; it lives in the next election.

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from freestats.com