Fill out the brief form below for access to the free report.
This post also found on www.freedomcollection.org.
Tuesday’s attacks on United States diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt point to the continuing challenges facing the Arab world. The murder of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three others at the consulate in Benghazi has led some to question whether supporting the wave of change sweeping the Middle East merits support. But as the experience of Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall shows, it takes years to transform a dictatorship into a democracy. The institutions of a democratic government, a free market economic system and a vibrant civil society need time and a sustained commitment to develop. The death of Ambassador Stevens and three others reminds us that the road to democracy and pluralism is often a rocky one. Violent extremists further complicate this already difficult path. But Ambassador Stevens was playing a central role in helping reformers in Libya steer their country in a new direction. As Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Chair of the Bush Institute’s Board of Advisors, wrote: “I am saddened by the tragic loss of life at our Consulate in Benghazi. Ambassador Chris Stevens was a wonderful officer and a terrific diplomat who was dedicated to the cause of freedom. His service in the Middle East throughout his career was legendary.” Ambassador Stevens knew that Libyans valued the assistance provided by foreign governments and institutions. A survey by the International Republican Institute showed that 88 percent of Libyan respondents supported foreign efforts to aid their country’s transition to democracy. Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joseph Lieberman recognize that the transitions underway in the region are fragile and complex. In a joint statement issued yesterday, they said, “Despite this horrific attack, we cannot give in to the temptation to believe that our support for the democratic aspirations of people in Libya, Egypt, and elsewhere in the broader Middle East is naive or mistaken.” Activists in the region also understand that wrongs that developed over decades cannot be righted overnight. Sally Sami, an Egyptian civil society activist, said in a Freedom Collection interview, “Whatever steps we have taken towards democracy and human rights, there is no going back.” Or as Samar El-Hussieny, also a civil society activist from Egypt, put it in her Freedom Collection interview, “We have to be patient and we have to be persistent.” As we mourn the death of Ambassador Stevens and others, we must also remain steadfast in our efforts to support the expansion of freedom and human rights in Libya, Egypt and elsewhere.
Lindsay Lloyd is the Director of the Human Freedom Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, where he manages original research and programmatic efforts to advance freedom and democracy in the world. Lindsay currently leads the Bush Institute’s Freedom in North Korea project, which raises awareness of human rights violations in North Korea, proposes new policy solutions, and engages leaders to help improve the lives of the North Korean people. Lindsay is also responsible for managing the Freedom Collection, a multimedia archive that documents the stories of nonviolent freedom advocates from around the word.
Prior to joining the Bush Institute, Lindsay served for 16 years at the International Republican Institute (IRI), most recently as senior advisor for policy. Previously, he was IRI’s regional director for Europe and co-director of the regional program for Central and Eastern Europe, which was based in Slovakia. At IRI, Lindsay worked with candidates, elected officials, political parties, and civil society activists to develop lasting democratic institutions.
Before joining IRI, Lindsay worked for several members and the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives, as political director for a political action committee, and for Jack Kemp’s 1988 presidential campaign. He graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.Full Bio
Chinese Prisoner’s Death Holds a Message for Americans and China
Liu Xiaobo, China’s most prominent dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner died this week. His death holds a message for Americans and for China.
Release of Chinese Political Prisoner a Timely Reminder to Support Freedom Advocates Abroad
More than half the world’s population still lives in countries where basic political rights and civil liberties are only partly respected, if at all.
Bringing Freedom to the Forefront of 21st Century Politics
Is the global liberal democratic order in danger? Purposefully constructed in the aftermath of World War II, this order -- and the American leadership that is central to its success --has contributed to securing peace and expanding prosperity in the United States and around the world. Today, that order appears to be dissolving. This crisis is not new or sudden; it has been mounting for several years. Global challenges like authoritarian capitalism, violent extremism, demographic pressures, and displaced populations have placed global freedom in decline. Fraying traditional alliances united by core values of freedom are increasingly weak to respond. It is alarming that the downdraft in democratic resilience over the past decade or more includes countries that have long been part of the consolidated democratic West. This is democratic deconsolidation. In much of the Western world, we see a rise in demagogic populism, illiberalism, nationalism, protectionism, and waning conf
The Importance of Speaking Truth to Tyrants
What the president of the United States says matters. Even during the realpolitik policies of détente under Richard Nixon, it was still clear that American policy was based on a set of core values. Nixon’s practical goals of reaching deals with America’s adversaries was never based on the “great chemistry” with himself or praising the Soviet or Communist Chinese leadership doing a “fantastic job.” When the president aligns himself with the autocrats and dictators, he aligns America with their oppression. He sends a message that corruption and brutality are not our concern. Contrast that with how Ronald Reagan defied much of world opinion in calling out the brutality of the Soviet system. Natan Sharansky, then a refusenik imprisoned in a Soviet gulag, later wrote for the Weekly Standard of his thoughts on Reagan’s pronouncement that the USSR was an evil empire: “It was the great, brilliant moment whe