Sunday, February 13, 2011

Freedom and democracy: It's not what you believe but what you do

I find it very hard to read Charles Krauthammer; I think he is very rigid in his thinking.  When he wrote in his latest column, "From freedom agenda to freedom doctrine", Washington Post, 2011-02-10, that George Bush and the neo-cons were the only ones interested in promoting freedom and democracy, I stopped reading.

What he ignores is that the neo-cons solution was to bring freedom and democracy at the point of a gun.  We can see how well that is working in Iraq and Afghanistan where chaos is more the norm.  What he ignores is that the Egyptians have started on a path to freedom and democracy, not with guns but with their gums.  They did it not with outside armies but by themselves.

In writing this, I did go back and skim Krauthammer's article.  He does make a good point with the second point of his Freedom Doctrine, but most of the rest is a call for the world being as we think it should be, not as others may want it.

A much better read is "They Did It", Thomas Friedman, New York Times, 2011-02-12, written in Cairo.  One of the best quotes is, "Because the Obama team never found the voice to fully endorse the Tahrir Square revolution until it was over, the people in that square now know one very powerful thing: They did this all by themselves."