Friday, September 28

We had to massacre our citizens to save them

The reaction by Burma's junta to the protests sharply reminds that nothing has changed in the world -- not with all our advanced technology, not with all our advanced systems of government. Down the road to freedom is always -- what did Ayn Rand call it? -- a thug in a cheap leather jacket holding a gun on you.

Yet I refuse to lose heart over the situation. Once again I take my cue from Senator John McCain. Wretchard noted McCain's recent response to Code Pink hecklers. He recounted that McCain replied with a grin:
"Well, my friends, we beat you yesterday, we beat you the day before yesterday, we'll beat you today and we'll beat you tomorrow. We won't choose to lose. We won't choose to lose this time."
Wretchard thinks the reply was all about Vietnam:
The "we" and "you" McCain refers to can be none other the enemies in the Cold War, with Code Pink implicitly in the enemy camp, right beside Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap.
Well, maybe. But I choose to interpret McCain's comeback in a larger context.

Whether in China, Zimbabwe, Burma and many other countries, what stands behind the thug in a cheap leather jacket is the same thinking that informed Saddam Hussein's rule: Unless we brutally repress democracy, our nation will fall apart into warring ethnic and sectarian groups.

So that is our slog work for the 21st Century. More than the terrorists, more than any single tyranny, we are fighting an idea born of ignorance, cowardice, stupidity and just plain refusal to admit that there is a tried-and-true system for nationhood, freedom, and different ethno-sectarian backgrounds to coexist.

We will win the fight. We have to win it. Yet only those with patience need apply, for it is devilishly hard to bring in real democracy as against the stage show.

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