Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Costs of Freedom

Freedom has costs. Those costs must be paid up front in blood and treasure if freedom is to be maintained. We have been fortunate to have a nation and leaders who both understood these fundamental truths and who had the wisdom, foresight and imagination to know when such costs had to be paid. We live in freedom today because of the blood and gold spent in dear cost by our forebearers.

That is a historical lesson that seems to be denied today by many of our citizens and leaders. Their failure of foresight and imagination to determine when such costs must be paid, or their craven denial of the necessity of such costs, can only have one of two consequences. Either it will end in a loss of freedom to others who desire to conquer, or it will end with a much higher cost in blood and treasure to be paid at a later date. Such is the message today of David Warren in an exception essay, "No Price Too HighFor Human Liberty."

. . . it would seem that [Bush] has failed to mobilize the American electorate behind the "Bush doctrine," as declared so eloquently in the months after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington; and failed even to mobilize the U.S. bureaucracy, which has consistently resisted direct presidential orders throughout both his terms, and in such cases as the CIA and State Department, often sabotaged them. His principal allies within the administration have been successfully demonized by America's media and entertainment industry, and most have been driven out of public life. So that one wonders if anything of the Bush doctrine -- that America will fight not only terrorists but the dictators who support them -- will survive his administration.

. . . Here are several statements made at the Prague conference, by leading pro-democracy dissidents from around the world, collected by Anne Bayefsky:

Natan Sharansky, of Israel: "Today there are dissidents in many different contexts but the underlying battle is the same -- freedom versus fear. We improve our influence by uniting as dissidents against totalitarian regimes."

Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, of Sudan: "U.N. handling of the Sudanese government has legitimized it regardless of the fact this government is killing its own people. Western states are sending the wrong message -- that democracy is primarily about elections, whereas it requires much more."

Garry Kasparov, of Russia: "Russia today is a police state masquerading as a democracy where elections are theatre. The problem is that the G8 treats Putin as an equal. ... Putin must be sent a message that he cannot act like an Alexander Lukashenko or Robert Mugabe and be treated like a democrat."

Saad Eddin Ibrahim, of Egypt: "We ask Western democracies to stop supporting dictatorships and the darkness of theocrats in the name of stability and continuity."

Bassam Eid, of Palestine: "The Arab world ... is not helped by the fact that the international community applies a double-standard to it -- refusing to insist that the society, including Palestinian society, must ready itself for democracy before handing millions to the security forces of autocracies."

George W. Bush, of USA: "Freedom can be resisted, and freedom can be delayed, but freedom cannot be denied."

This last is the only statement I'll contest. In my view, and my experience, freedom can be resisted, delayed, and denied, and moreover, it can be in decline, as it is in the West, where the nanny state grows insidiously and constantly -- regardless of who is elected to government -- with the expanding power of the self-appointed elites who control our legal systems, and regulatory regimes.

It is nice to say rhetorically that freedom will prevail, but we must realize that such statements apply to heaven and not to earth. For down here, civic freedom is invariably obtained at the cost of human blood and treasure. It is not obtained by negotiating with dictators, except from a position of invincible force, and then only when one is fully prepared to use it. The very argument used against the wisdom of invading Iraq -- that it costs blood and treasure -- is itself the signal of surrender.

Aristotle once wrote that the magnificent man "does not count the cost." He understood also the virtue of prudence, the need for calculation and tact. But prudence itself is not finally calculated in blood or treasure. In the words with which my own country, Canada, was once mobilized against the Hitler menace: "No price too high!"

There is no price too high for human liberty, and those who dispute this are, and deserve to be, slaves.
Read the entire story here. This article articulately sums up how I feel about the far left of this nation. They revel in a suicidal narcissim, seeking only political power. The fact that they now control the Democratic Party, driving its Congressional leaders and would-be presidential nominees into lemming-like lock step is a national tragedy. We are fighting two wars at present - the War on Terror and an internal war against far left forces who would destroy our nation through their embrace of fanatasy and their desire to do good - as they would define it. Failure to win both wars can only lead, at best, to the precipitous and long-term decline of our nation, and at worst, the very loss of our freedom as described by Mr. Warren.

(H/T Steve Halter)

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