July 18, 2003


There is a myth that though we love freedom, others don't; that our attachment to freedom is a product of our culture; that freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law are American values or Western values; that Afghan women were content under the lash of the Taliban; that Saddam was somehow beloved by his people; that Milosevic was Serbia's savior. Members of Congress, ours are not Western values. They are the universal values of the human spirit, and anywhere -- (applause) -- anywhere, any time ordinary people are given the chance to choose, the choice is the same: freedom, not tyranny; democracy, not dictatorship; the rule of law, not the rule of the secret police.

The spread of freedom is the best security for the free. It is our last line of defense and our first line of attack.

And just as the terrorist seeks to divide humanity in hate, so we have to unify around an idea. And that idea is liberty.

If I'm up this early it's usually because I'm catching an early flight, and that's what's going on this morning. So I'll refer you to Andrew Sullivan and James Lileks for more analysis. Here's an excerpt from Lileks:

Blair is, at heart, a socialist; Ive no time for half the stuff he wants and most of the stuff hed agree to. But hed get my vote. We can argue about the shape and direction of Western Civ after weve made sure that such a thing will endure. I havent heard every single speech Tony Blair has made since he popped on to the political scene; I dont know if he argues for increased license fees for domestic gerbils with the same passion and force. But today he sounded like a man who knew things, who knows that the threat is still grave, and cannot understand why others seek transient political advantage in exploiting those sixteen words.

Read it all. Blogging will be intermittent or nonexistent until Sunday night. See you then.