Thursday, February 10, 2005

Freedom's Progress

The Moose urges the donkey to celebrate the march of freedom.

In Ukraine, Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq, democracy has made important advances in recent weeks. The United States can claim a large amount of credit for this success. That is reason for all Americans regardless of party affiliation to feel pride and a sense of accomplishment - even if it redounds to the political benefit of the President.

One cannot help but believe that the very fragile and tenuous steps toward peace by the Israelis and the Palestinians is partly a bi-product of difficult progress in Iraq. And by his politically precarious and personally courageous actions, Sharon has demonstrated that he actually is a "man of peace."

As the Moose has previously opined, Democrats should not fall into the trap of denying America's triumphs because they occur on the watch of President Bush. Democrats should not allow their loathing of the Administration to cause them to take leave of their principles.

Of course, there have been massive errors committed by the Bushies in foreign policy over the past term. Their arrogance has alienated allies that should have been by our side. But, if the Democrats become the party of gloom and doom and even worse - pessimistic isolationism, they may be long condemned to minority status. Hawks, not doves win Presidential elections. The Democrats should learn from the experience of the Israeli Labor Party - that party will not be trusted with power for many a year to come because of its perceived weakness on national security.

Tom Friedman's column is must reading for all Democrats. He writes,

"I think there is much to criticize about how the war in Iraq has been conducted, and the outcome is still uncertain. But those who suggest that the Iraqi election is just beanbag, and that all we are doing is making the war on terrorism worse as a result of Iraq, are speaking nonsense."

"Here's the truth: There is no single action we could undertake anywhere in the world to reduce the threat of terrorism that would have a bigger impact today than a decent outcome in Iraq. It is that important. And precisely because it is so important, it should not be left to Donald Rumsfeld."

"Democrats need to start thinking seriously about Iraq - the way Joe Biden, Joe Lieberman and Hillary Clinton have. If France - the mother of all blue states - can do it, so, too, can the Democrats. Otherwise, they will be absenting themselves from the most important foreign policy issue of our day."

Democrats should tap the deep well of their party's idealism and advance innovative and surprising foreign policy ideas. One could be the creation of a Democracy Corps comprised of professionals who go to the developing democracies and help create civil institutions.

It is ironic that the so-called "neo-cons" and even W. sound downright Kennedyesqe (JFK not Ted) while some Democrats act like neo-Kissingerian realists. The Democrats, after all, were once the party whose leader proclaimed,
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

The Moose passes the torch to the donkey.
-- Posted at 8:39 AM | Link to this post | Email this post