Sunday, 6 February 2011

"The west should cheer,not fear, this cry for freedom in Egypt"

The Guardian´s Andrew Rawnsley writes about the west´s choices in Egypt:

Having conceded that to the so-called "realists", we must then ask them a question. Are they saying that Arabs are never allowed to aspire to democracy for fear that revolution might go the (highly country, culture and time-specific) way of Iran after 1979? That is a counsel of utter despair and racist condescension which consigns millions of people to the dead end of indefinite dictatorship.
Anyone with any sense of history knows the road to liberal democracy can be bumpy and bloody. Britain took centuries to progress from tyrant kings such as Henry VIII to representative parliamentary government. Americans killed each other in a civil war which left more of them dead than any other conflict. The UK and the US have yet to reach a state of democratic perfection. But we also know something else about democracy, something which was best expressed by Winston Churchill: it is the worst form of government – except for all the other ones.

Democracy is best at building stable, prosperous, resilient and tolerant societies over the long term. There has never been an armed conflict between two genuinely established democracies. The most promising path to sustainable peace and security in the Middle East and the most reliable bulwark against murderous extremism is not the chimeric "stability" of dictators. It is the nurturing of democracy.
Our espoused principles and our long-term self-interest are both served by encouraging freedom. When liberty contends with tyranny, we should be on the side of all the citizens of the world enjoying the precious rights that we so take for granted. It is time that the leaders of the "free world" unknotted their tongues and said that with crystal clarity.

Right he is!
Read the entire article here.

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