Claudia Rosett, who has done an amazing job covering the UN Oil-for-Food scandal, makes a very good point in today’s Wall Street Journal: its seems as if many pundits have forgotten what tyranny does to a person and a society. As she points out,
Baathism in Syria, for instance, doesn’t just mean you must say only nice things about dictator Bashar Assad; it can also mean you are strong-armed into informing on members of your own family. Authoritarianism in Egypt doesn’t just mean that Hosni Mubarak gets to be president for more than two decades; it also means that if you push for real elections you can end up in prison. Clerical rule as practiced in Iran doesn’t just give the ayatollahs a hand in politics, it arms them with a global terrorist network and the power to smother an entire generation of young Iranians who would like them gone.
That is why opposing all forms of tyranny is the only liberal thing to do. To leave human beings in the clutches of tyrants is simply immoral.