Thursday, May 12, 2005

Stockwell Day - an upstanding fellow

Skeet brings us a Stockwell Day report from London, ON:

Day made it clear from the outset that when he spoke of Muslim countries, he was referring to the leadership of the country, not the people (whom he feels are victims of oppression). Stating that a country is in trouble when it fails to heed the will of her people, he went on to indict tyrants the world over: Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely all the time. Foreshadowing President Bush's speech an hour later, Day said "Democracy is the only check on that."

On the topic of anti-semitism, he addressed the recent UN 'memorial' to the victims of the Holocaust. Recognizing it for what it was, he went through a laundry list of complaints with the day:

no resolutions or final declarations were allowed
Only 41 countries spoke (by his count), and only 5 mentioned Israel. Canada wasn't amongst those that recognized the Jewish state. You know, the one that was established by the UN because of the holocaust.
Kofi Annan's terrific idea to start a registry of Palestinians who have been affected by the security council (I'm still waiting on that registry of the Sudanese murdered in Darfur), with no mention of the Men, Women and children who have been killed, maimed or otherwise injured by Arab terrorism in Israel
In another parallel to President Bush, Day went on to quote Natan Sharansky, a former Soviet dissident and political prisoner who now is in the Israeli Knesset. Never call a tyrant anything but that. Not a diplomat, not a leader. He went on to state that Sharansky is his personal hero. I find it really hard to not like this guy.

While most of the speech seemed to be delivered without notes, he relied heavily on his blackberry while cataloging nearly every conflict in the Middle East in the last 50 years. Could Israel really be held accountable for all of them? It was Day's contention that Israel moderates the region. I'm not sure how much of that argument I buy, but here was his reasoning: With a common enemy, and one they can't seem to beat, it stops them from their usual Arab on Arab violence, which tends to be more brutal. Maybe he's right.

He went on to state a few hypotheticals: What if Israel had lost in 1967? Would Egypt and Jordan have handed the West Bank and Gaza to Arafat? No; they hated him more than the Israelis did then. If Israel ceased to exist would there suddenly be peace in the region? Of course not.

Getting back to the Tyrants, Day cited a number of UN development reports that have Muslim countries finish at the bottom of the pack in every major index. That they live so poorly is a direct reflection on the Tyrants who rule them.

Turning to the spread of freedom, Day mentioned something I hadn't heard before. Apparently, millions (his number) of Iranians called in sick last week to watch President Bush's inauguration speech. If its true, that certainly bodes well for the Iranian student democratic movement. He called freedom 'contagious' and called out those who claim that the Middle East can't handle democracy as racists (again, shadowing something Bush has previously said many times).

He ended his talk by again stating that supporting the only stable democracy in the Middle East was a simple, but important decision.

Democracy good.


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