Claudia Rosett: “I will hazard the prediction that if we of the free world stick to our principles–and, where necessary, defend them with our guns–we stand on the verge of a global renaissance.”
In today’s WSJ,
Ukraine is telegraphing around the globe a reminder that freedom brings with it the great gift of dignity. That is precisely why it is so stirring to watch such revolutions. They speak to the best part of the human spirit, because we are witnessing people, often against big odds and at great risk, recovering their self-respect.
And right there is the basic remedy for the miseries of the Middle East. There has been plenty of debate about the humiliations of the Muslim world, and how to redress or contain the rage and hate this breeds. There have been endless disquisitions on the complicated politics, the complex cultural and religious divides, and the–how did Mr. Rybachuk put it?–the idiocy, romanticism and naiveté of the idea, put forward as policy by President Bush, that living under the rule of some of the world’s most corrupt thugs are vast silent majorities who given any room to maneuver would prefer to create free societies.
The bottom line is simple, and universal. Freedom brings with it a degree of dignity that repression can never confer. No amount of handouts from the likes of the Saudi royals, or Libya’s terrorist tycoon, Moammar Gadhafi, or United Nations-sanctioned rations under a Saddam Hussein, can make up for the self-respect that comes with the self-determination of free people.
In neighboring Romania, the opossition party, speaking against corruption and the status quo, is also wearing orange (the color of Mr. Yushchenko’s party in the Ukraine), and Pressure Grows on Romanian Left to Give Up Power.
(If you can’t get the video from the prior link, go to this page, look at the right-side sidebar and click the “Roumanie: Basescu victorieux” under “Vidéos”.)
Freedom: It’s contagious.