Free societies are the only inherently reliable allies because they share our values—not “Western” values, but the values of free peoples. Bad things can and do happen in good countries, but in the end, the values of a free people prevail. Leaders of a free country cannot terrorize citizens or invade neighbors. Leaders of a free country cannot fund terrorists or unleash weapons of mass destruction on thousands of innocents. And citizens of free countries are far less likely to join the ranks of terrorists because they would lose the most prized of possessions: freedom.
Acutely aware of the necessity of freedom in the Middle East, President Bush has laid out a bold vision of democracy—but the State Department is doing its best to prevent it from becoming reality. The same day Bush outlined his plans, State released an “internal” report—which happened to get leaked to the Los Angeles Times—stating, essentially, that Middle Easterners are not capable of self-rule.
State may be right—particularly since it has long fought pro-democracy groups in Iraq. The Iraqi National Congress—the umbrella organization for various freedom movements—has been financially hobbled by State, despite Congress’ insistence that the INC be fully funded. Making matters worse, State is now allowing the Iranian mullahs and the House of Saud to play major roles in a post-Saddam Iraq. History shows us this is a tragic mistake; there is no such thing as a benign despot.
Some have argued that the U.S. should not topple Saddam because of its hand in creating him. But even Dr. Frankenstein had to put down his creation. It is time for us to “put down” Saddam—and then fill the void with freedom, not the next Frankenstein.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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