Saturday, June 05, 2010

What happened to the freedom movements?

After the US started flexing its military muscles in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 and 2003 respectively, freedom and pro-democracy movements started springing up in and around the Middle East:
  • October 7, 2001: The U.S. begins strikes in Afghanistan.
  • Autumn 2002: George Bush is mocked and ridiculed for suggesting that democracy could be planted in the heart of the Middle East.
  • March 20, 2003: The U.S. and its allies begin the invasion of Iraq.
  • November 23, 2003: The Rose Revolution in Georgia forces President Shevardnadze to resign.
  • October 9, 2004: Afghanistan holds its first post-Taliban elections
  • January 20, 2005: Iraq holds its first post-Hussein elections.
  • January 23, 2005: The Orange Revolution leads to free and fair elections in Ukraine, elevating Yushchenko to office.
  • February 2005: The first local elections since the 1960's are held in Saudi Arabia.
  • April 4, 2005: The Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan forces the corrupt Prime Minister to resign.
  • April 27, 2005: Syrian troops withdraw from Lebanon and the pro-Syrian government resigns, concluding the Cedar Revolution.
  • May 17, 2005: Women in Kuwait are given the right to vote for the first time.
  • May 2005: The Egyptian constitution is amended to allow for the popular election of the President every 6 years.
Those were heady times, and they appear all the more remarkable now that we have five more years of historical perspective within which to frame them, because freedom has been on the retreat lately.
  • June 2008: B. Hussein Obama wins the Democratic nomination, and promises to "restore our image" around the world, which is another way of saying that he wants to be more friendly with our enemies, and that he opposes military actions that are aimed at replacing dictatorships with democratic governments.
  • August 2008: Russia invades, occupies and annexes part of Georgia. No action is taken against Russia.
  • November 2008: Obama wins the Presidential election.
  • June 13, 2009: The first of many Iranian election protests begins, and although they continue off and on for many months in the face of torture and deaths at the hands of the government, neither the U.S. nor any other country offers any substantial help.
  • September 17, 2009: On the 70th anniversary of the Russian invasion of Poland, Obama cancels plans to deploy a missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.
  • November 8, 2009: Obama snubs the 20th anniversary celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
  • March 26, 2010: North Korea torpedoes a South Korean ship, killing 46.
Add to this the impending bankruptcy of the Western Powers and the increasing degree of cooperation between new and old enemies like Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, and Russia, and I fear that all of the revolutions of 2004-2005 could be reversed - and then some.


Keith Wilson said...


A very fitting post on the eve of D-Day, June 6th 1944. I think Hussein Oama is going to celebrate this historic day with a round of golf.

Victor Davis Hanson noted that on the eve of Lincoln's second election, Lincoln was behind in the polls, the country not in favor of him, and victory for the Union in doubt.
Then - Shermin wired the President:
A"tlanta is ours and fairly won."

A DECISIVE victory that guaranteed the war was over. The D-Day invasion began the march to end the war.

After Hussein's apology tour, the world has tuned into a frightening bomb waiting to explode.

For today, let's just give thanks to all the thousands of troops who fought and died to keep others free.

Cathy said...

And of course there's this too, as VDH points out in his latest post about "Should the Jews Go Back . . "

"And despite the protestations of our own foreign policy establishments, most Americans sense that the end of Turkey’s participation in NATO is only a matter of when, not if."

You're right. Seems there are so many reversals and they all seem to moving in the wrong direction.