Wednesday, April 26, 2006

President George W. Bush

I am wading into unfamiliar and frightening waters today - POLITICS! The very word makes my heart race - not in excitement but in tension. An extremely wide chasm of political understandings divides my family members and closest friends, so I usually prefer to keep my political thoughts and opinions to myself.

Although I almost never discuss the subject and do not consider myself any kind of authority, I DO read extensively about American social concerns and international relations . I also make a concentrated and intentional effort to read material slanted in opposite directions and written from both sides of current issues. This morning I found an editorial I want to reference in today's blogpost.

Natan Sharansky wrote The Dissident President which was printed in Monday's Wall Street Journal.

This is not one of those "I support the president no matter what" posts, althought there are certainly many of those in the blogworld.

It is not one of those hate-filled "the president is evil" posts, although there are certainly many of those in the blogworld, too.

In this editorial the writer points out some failings of the administration as he perceives them, then he says:

Yet despite these criticisms, I recognize that I have the luxury of criticizing Mr. Bush's democracy agenda only because there is a democracy agenda in the first place. A policy that for years had been nothing more than the esoteric subject of occasional academic debate is now the focal point of American statecraft.

Then he makes several statements that any thoughtful American would do well to at least read and consider.

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.

Yet with each passing day, new voices are added to the chorus of that doctrine's opponents, and the circle of its supporters grows ever smaller.

Critics rail against every step on the new and difficult road on which the United States has embarked. Yet in pointing out the many pitfalls which have not been avoided and those which still can be, those critics would be wise to remember that the alternative road leads to the continued oppression of hundreds of millions of people and the continued festering of the pathologies that led to 9/11.

Now that President Bush is increasingly alone in pushing for freedom, I can only hope that his dissident spirit will continue to persevere. For should that spirit break, evil will indeed triumph, and the consequences for our world would be disastrous.

I am sure I have put my slant on this retelling. It is virtually impossible for a writer to write without doing so. We are aware of that fact every day when we receive "news" from the Main Stream Media. So, go read the article for yourself and see if the angle of your slant alters at all.

Wikipedia has this information on Mr. Sharansky, who spent nine years as a political prisoner in the Soviet Gulag. He is a former deputy prime minister of Israel and currently a member of the Knesset.

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