Contact Us Site Map
Whats New Titles Authors Commentary For the Trade Media Relations About Us
In Association with
Authors' Blog

Monday, February 28, 2005

Liberty makes inroads in Middle East

It may be impossible to predict what will ultimately come of the current situation in Lebanon, where protestors angry over the recent murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hairi have defied their Syrian occupiers and forced the country's Quisling government to resign. But even if Beirut does not have the same happy ending that we recently saw in Kiev -- where a Kremlin-backed presidential candidate's attempt to steal an election was successfully resisted last year -- this kind of grassroots protest suggests that the winds of freedom are finally stirring in this long oppressed region of the world.

Despite all the protests from liberals in this country who rail against George W. Bush's so-called "neo-con" (i.e. Jewish?) strategy of bringing democracy into the Middle East to counter the spread of radical Islam, consider the examples of progress that have come about in just the past six months:

  • The first presidential election in Afghanistan's history.
  • The election of a moderate to the Palestinian Authority's presidency (after Arafat suspended elections when his term expired).
  • The first local elections in Saudi Arabia's history, which came on the heels of the ruling family's decision to have gov't agencies begin hiring women.
  • Free and fair voting with a good turnout in Iraq's parliamentary elections.
  • The surprise announcement that Egypt will reform its presidential elections (see

The Middle East may not be mistaken for a Randian paradise anytime soon (although it is probably already on par with Massachusetts), and certainly any of the preceding initiatives could still fail, but taken together these signs are encouraging.

And even though daunting challenges remain -- preventing terror groups such as Hezbollah from derailing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and keeping the desperate mullahs of Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons chief among them -- think how far the region has come far in just the past four years. If this trend continues, we may one day come to look back on 2004-2005 in the Middle East in a similar light as 1989 for Eastern Europe.

Eric M. Jackson is the president of World Ahead Publishing and author of the award-winning book, The PayPal Wars: Battles with eBay, the Media, the Mafia, and the Rest of Planet Earth, which is on sale now.


Post a Comment

<< Home