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Mar. 21, 2005 11:50 AM
Iran's Sham Election In Houston.
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Yes, Kanye, Bush Does Care.
Oct. 31, 2005 12:41 AM
Health Care vs. Wealth Care.
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Idea Majorities Matter.
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Twilight Zone Economics.
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The "Shrinking" Middle Class.
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From Ashes, GOP Opportunities.
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Battle Between Entitlements & Pork.
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Let Economic Freedom Reign.
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Biggest Health Care Moment In Decades.
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Unions Antithetical to Liberty.
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Right To Work States Rock.
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Social Security Reform Thursday.
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Mar. 14, 2006
Quotational Therapy: Obama.
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July 14, 2006
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"It Is Time For Change To Come To Belarus."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is earning her pay and proving just how different she is from former Secretary Colin Powell. She is already setting a pace to out-travel Powell quite significantly (more on this to come).
On her trip to Europe this week, in Vilnius, Lithuania, she did not mince words in expressing America's desire for free and fair elections in Belarus.
Noting that it is "really the last true dictatorship in the center of Europe," Secretary Rice asserted that "it is time for change to come to Belarus."
That she made the comments in Lithuania is not insignificant. Lithuania, once part of the Soviet Empire, still understands and values the concept of freedom. In fact, Lithuanian President Adamkus went out of his way to support the Orange Revolution late last year in Ukraine. Her comment, ever un-Powell-like, drew sharp criticism, predictably, from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Russia, which was recently downgraded from "Partially Free" to "Not Free" by Freedom House, supports the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko. Russia still treats Belarus like a satellite in its Cold War sphere of influence.
What the United States can do, what the European Union can do, what we can do together... is shine a spotlight on places where people are still denied freedom....
Rice then went one step further, actually meeting with Belarussian dissidents:
"While it may seem difficult and long, and at times far way, there will be a road to democracy in Belarus," Rice told the seven opposition figures, among them an academic, a politician and human rights activists.
What's so bad about Belarus, anyway?
The latest Freedom House rating of Belarus, a country already classified as "Not Free," downgraded the country further (.pdf) for the government's crackdown on political rights. Its Soviet-style governance now makes it less free even than nations like Angola, Rwanda, Cambodia, Egypt, Oman, Pakistan, and Congo.
Several opponents of that government have disappeared, and earlier this month, the Bush administration expressed "grave concern" about what it charged was the jailing of Belarusian citizens for political dissent.
With elections in 2006 in Belarus, now is the time for the democratic reformers of Belarus to develop those networks, institutions, and ideas for the fight ahead.
Posted by Will Franklin · 22 April 2005 10:51 AM
Posted by: jp at April 22, 2005 02:51 PM
It's from Freedom House.
Posted by: Will Franklin at April 22, 2005 03:28 PM