Commentary by H.G. Listiak
Democracy Spreading Quickly
Welcome to My World, where I'm absolutely amazed by the swiftness that democracy has spread in Southwest Asia. In less than two years the hard line Taliban has been run out of power in Afghanistan, and Kabul now has a constitution and a good start on democracy. And Monday the U.S. backed interim constitution was signed in Iraq, bringing together opposing factions that have been at serious odds for centuries. The dictatorship of Saddam Hussein is over and the Iraqis are on the road to self government with broad protections for individual rights. The Shiite Muslims who had a problem with giving the Kurds too much power finally have come around and they are still not happy with the constitution, but they will back it, and isn't that what it's all about? There's a lot of give and take involved in freedom and a democracy. Look at what our founding fathers went through to lay the groundwork for our democracy and freedoms we still enjoy. The U.S. has paid a steep price both internally and externally for our freedom. Now, because of our help, it'll be easier for Afghanistan and Iraq, but it'll still be difficult, partly because it's all happened so quickly and because these people who have been oppressed for so long simply don't know how to handle full freedom. They will learn quickly with our help. I also think Iran, with fallen dictatorships on both their eastern and western borders, has to be getting very nervous. You see freedom and democracy have a tendancy to spread. Ask the commies. But it's a slow, painful process, ravaged by adjustments all the way. Here in the U.S. we are still adjusting to the changing times and the changing face of the world. You smooth one set of ruffled feathers just in time for the next set to arrive. The bottom line is that democracy has some flex, and as long as it's bendable it's not breakable, as I see it ... I'm H.G. Listiak.
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