Jewish World Review Dec. 8, 2004 / 25 Kislev, 5765

Joe Scarborough

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Democracy can be messy | Last week I connected the dots between the breathtaking democratic uprising in Kiev and the fight for freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Few can remember how grim the realities were for the Afghan people — especially women — before U.S. bombs chased Taliban thugs out of town wearing women's clothes. Though it is taking much longer, I suspect the only thing the terrorists in Iraq will be wearing when they leave the country will be a shroud.

This weekend, New York Post columnist John Podhoretz also compared the Ukrainian uprising to the fight to liberate the Arab world:

"When the world's only superpower stakes the future of the world on democracy, it's going to have ramifications — and we saw one intended ramification in the astonishing conduct of the Afghan people, who went to the polls in mass numbers two months ago.

And now, in Ukraine, we're seeing this new popular commitment — a commitment by Ukrainians to take charge of their own lives and their own politics.

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The blogger Tulip Girl, an American living in Kiev, published a beautiful letter from her Ukrainian friend Lena last week. Ignore the grammatical problems and revel in it:

'Quite recently I didn't believe that my people able to resist to violence and humiliation. Two months ago I guessed that I live in the worst country in the world. I was oppressed when I could not see a dignity in my fellow citizens, willingness to freedom and happiness...Now I can see that they are not passive mammals who want just to dig [a] comfortable burrow, to generate they own posterity and to finish life in poverty, pretending that there is no another way.

'Since Nov. 22 there are not a crowd on the main square of my country. This is the PEOPLE. This is the NATION. Love, faith and hope filled up a whole space of capital of my country.'

To what extent the Ukrainian revolution has been influenced by American evangelizing about the power of freedom and democracy is something we won't know for a while. But we can be sure it played some kind of role — and that's an unintended consequence of which we can all be deeply, deeply proud. And another reason to give thanks for the sacrifice of those who are fighting for freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan."

As I said last week on this subject, democracy can be a messy form of government. The fall of the Soviet Empire has proven that over the past 13 years. But, as Podhoretz pointed out in his column, the former Soviet Bloc nations are now entering a mature stage of freedom. This development has allowed the Ukrainian uprising to occur.

Just as with Eastern Europe, the road to democracy in Iraq will be a difficult journey. But it is a trip we have no choice but to make.

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Former Congressman Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.) hosts “Scarborough Country,” 10 p.m. ET, weeknights on MSNBC. He is the author of the recently published "Rome Wasn't Burnt in a Day : The Real Deal on How Politicians, Bureaucrats, and Other Washington Barbarians are Bankrupting America". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)Comment by clicking here.

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