Bush and Rice Listen to Sharansky
By Andrew L. Jaffee, November 18, 2004
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When Israeli Minister-Without-Portfolio Natan Sharansky was in Washington last week, President Bush and soon-to-be-U.S. Secretary of State Condi Rice took the time to meet with him. Still think Bush is a “moron” and Rice is a “hustler,” “yes (wo)man,” or “Uncle Tom?”
Sharansky is no slouch himself. He just published a book, The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror. Both Rice and Bush have been reading Sharansky’s book and met with him specifically to discuss his newest work. PublicAffairs describes the book thusly:
Drawing on a lifetime of experience of democracy and its absence, Sharansky believes that only democracy can safeguard the well-being of societies. For Sharansky, when it comes to democracy, politics is not a matter of left and right, but right and wrong.
He certainly does carry “supreme moral authority.” Born in the Ukraine and educated at Moscow’s Physical Technical Institute, Sharansky became an advocate for human rights in the Soviet Union. He worked alongside with the great Andrei Sakharov. The communists were not happy with Sharansky’s activities and locked him up in the infamous Soviet prison system for years. He finally made it to Israel in 1986, where he has continued to put his money where his mouth is, both in and out of government.
Sharansky doesn’t buy all the nonsense about terrorism being justifiable. He believes that all people, including Arabs and Muslims, are capable of striving for free and democratic societies – which is precisely what Bush and Rice believe and are putting into practice.
In the sham emptiness of old-world diplomacy, Sharansky’s position in Israeli government would be considered insignificant. Obviously, the U.S. President and Secretary of State – two of the most powerful people on earth – do not consider Sharansky “insignificant.” Old-world diplomats watch out: The times, they are a’ changing.’
President Bush will hold Palestinians’ feet to the fire: If they want an independent state, then it will have to be based on democracy, or it won’t happen. Bush will keep up the good work of building democracy in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other terror-toilets of the world. As Secretary of State, Condi Rice will try to clean the terrorism sympathizers out of the State Department. She’ll fight the good fight, and leave the days of placating terrorists behind.
Sharansky’s meeting with Bush and Rice is very significant. It shows that the President and Secretary of State will be listening to new and previously ignored voices – uncompromising voices of freedom and democracy. After the meeting with Sharansky, Rice said:
The principle of strengthening the connection between security and democracy will continue to be a guiding principle in US policy in the upcoming years.