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Democracy's Core Value

Reader comment on item: After Saddam? Remaking the Mideast

Submitted by David Jacob (United States), Feb 11, 2003 at 19:32

Both Fouad Ajami (who always presents very insightful analytical thinking) and Andrew J. Bacevich (whose writings I don't know as well) make extremely well-grounded arguments.

However, as Nathan Sharansky, the Israeli legislator, once said in a recent interview, "the right to dissent without repercussions to one's personal well-being" is the core value of Democracy. Everything else flows from from this simply-stated concept. Issues such as women's rights, open elections, due process, although necessary, are merely the byproduct of this core value.

When Saddam is overthrown, the US and its democratic allies should vigorously pursue the protection of dissenters. It should not micromanage how a new Iraqi government develops its own version of democracy. Continuous reinforcing the right to dissent will not be easy but it's a good starting point.
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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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