Monday, May 22, 2006


Recently the President of Iran wrote a long, rambling letter to the President of the US in which, among other things, he asserted that:
...liberalism and Western-style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity. Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic systems.

Michael Barone--rebuts Ahmadinejad's psychological projection and identifies it for what it is: "obvious nonsense". Barone cites overall world economic growth, which is dominated by the engine of America--who accounts for more than a quarter of that growth.

He also discusses armed conflicts:
But aren't we also living in times of record strife? Actually, no. Just the opposite. The Human Security Centre of the University of British Columbia has been keeping track of armed conflicts since World War II. It reports that the number of genocides and violent conflicts dropped rapidly after the end of the Cold War, and that in 2005 the number of armed conflicts was down 40 percent from 1992.

Wars have also become less deadly: The average number of people killed per conflict per year in 1950 was 38,000; in 2002, it was just 600. The conflict in Iraq has not significantly changed that picture. American casualties are orders of magnitude lower than in the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, and precision weapons have enabled us to vastly reduce the civilian death toll.

After our victory in the Cold War, Francis Fukuyama proclaimed that we had reached "the end of history," by which he meant the end of any serious argument over what constitutes the best kind of society. That is disputed by the Islamist fascists, who have made it clear that they will do whatever they can to inflict harm on our civilization.
Free markets and democracy are chalking up one ringing achievement after another -- as we can see from the surge in world economic growth and the reduction of armed conflict -- while the Islamists can achieve their goals only through oppression and slaughter.

Unfortunately, Ahmadinejad's particular brand of obvious nonsense seems to be selling well in the echo chambers of the left, whose greatest desire is to eliminate free markets and free individuals; and to stop the engine of human progress. For them, as well as for Ahmadinejad and the Islamists, it will always be the worst of times--as long as humanity is not completely controlled under their boot.

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