April 24, 2006

The "Dissident President"

Natan Sharansky, author of the excellent book "The Case For Democracy", penned an Op-Ed in the WSJ's OpinionJournal.com today. Sharansky, who spent nine years in a Soviet Gulag, calls President Bush a dissident.

"He is a man fired by a deep belief in the universal appeal of freedom, its transformative power, and its critical connection to international peace and stability. Even the fiercest critics of these ideas would surely admit that Mr. Bush has championed them both before and after his re-election, both when he was riding high in the polls and now that his popularity has plummeted, when criticism has come from longstanding opponents and from erstwhile supporters.

With a dogged determination that any dissident can appreciate, Mr. Bush, faced with overwhelming opposition, stands his ideological ground, motivated in large measure by what appears to be a refusal to countenance moral failure."

While the President must suffer the slings and arrows of his short-sighted critics, there are many around the world who are inspired by his steadfast resolve. Just as Ronald Reagan's courage to stand up to the Soviet Union gave hope to men like Sharansky during the Cold War, Bush's consistent message of freedom is sowing the seeds of future democracy in the Middle East.
"Today, we are in the midst of a great struggle between the forces of terror and the forces of freedom. The greatest weapon that the free world possesses in this struggle is the awesome power of its ideas.

The Bush Doctrine, based on a recognition of the dangers posed by non-democratic regimes and on committing the United States to support the advance of democracy, offers hope to many dissident voices struggling to bring democracy to their own countries. The democratic earthquake it has helped unleash, even with all the dangers its tremors entail, offers the promise of a more peaceful world."

Those who would turn a blind eye towards tyranny do so at their own peril. Three Presidents in the 20th century were confronted with it - Roosevelt, Truman and Reagan - and each of them chose to oppose it. We live in a better world because of it. George W. Bush is the first President of the 21st century to advance the cause of freedom in the world. Let's hope he's not the last.

Posted by: Gary at 09:50 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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