Good news like this gives me some hope. The president has made some laudable moves in this direction, but much, much more needs to be done. It's my humble opinion that renewable energy is probably the most pressing moral, environmental, foreign policy, and national security issue of the new century. America should be blazing the trail on this issue like the bold pioneers we once were.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
The irony of Putin's sarcastic comment at the WTO about Iraq's violence-plagued democracy is that while it will undoubtedly irritate many American "conservatives," Putin's attitude is far more truly conservative than our own president's. There was a time in the not-so-distant history of our republic when American conservatives, familiar with Burke and Tocqueville, recognized that a successful and stable democracy had certain prerequisites--among them, a rule of law and order that is not imposed by fear, but by the habits and values of the people themselves. There is a good reason why Putin currently enjoys high approval ratings in Russia; his own country's rush to democracy in the 1990s, at a time when crime was rampant and the central government in disarray, made many Russians yearn for more order and less democracy. The images of Iraqis emerging from the polls with their ink-stained fingers may have stirred our democratic American hearts, but ultimately they will prove meaningless if those same Iraqis have to live in constant fear of terrorist attacks, religious violence, and stray American bullets. We have no choice--and indeed a pressing moral imperative--to help Iraq restore lasting law and order as quickly as possible, but we would do well to remember our Burke and our Tocqueville before embarking on any other democracy-building experiments in the near future.