Dec 9, 2004 5:53 pm


As a student of Yaakov Talmon (The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy ), I have carefully followed the ever evolving post French revolution argument between those who emphasize liberty (advocates of free enterprise and democracy) and those who focus on equality (communists, socialists and today's progressive transnationalists.)

Watching the French news made be aware of the importance of solidarity as the third rail of democracy because the French make constant references to the concept. Interestingly, they call the legislation legalizing Civil Union, the civil solidarity pact.

When American hostages were held in Iran - no one complained when ABC called its nightly discussion of the subject"America Held Hostage," Even Reagan ended up trying to negotiate with terrorists for the life of hostages. Similarly, the pictures of Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, the longest-held Western hostages in Iraq are posted every day on the news along with the number of days they are being held hostage. Indeed, nothing demonstrates so clearly the futility of the French policy of appeasement than Chirac's failure to secure the release of the two Frenchmen.

Philippine democracy is no different. Indeed, a democratic leader would rarely be criticized for appeasement as much as for the failure to go far enough - See, A forgotten hostage.

In Israel, the passing years do little to decrease the interest in Rod Arad. The “Born to Freedom Foundation” has been recently set up to help locate Arad and bring him, and all other Israeli MIA’s, home speedily. The Foundation is offering $10 million dollars for any information leading to Arad.

Arad has been missing since he bailed out of his Israel Air Force plane over Lebanon on October 16, 1986 and was captured by an Iranian-backed terrorist group, Amal. Since then, Arad has been held captive and shifted between locations in Lebanon and Iran by various Iranian-backed militias.

So what? So everything. Just compare this sense of solidarity to the fratricide which permeates dictatorships. Indeed, the elites of tyrannies (and their sympathizers) never even complain about the killing of their own citizens either by their own governments or by terrorists. Nor could the terrorists care less about killing their own brethren. Just note the recent killings in Iraq, Pakistan, the Palestinian territories or Darfour. Dr. Jerry Ehrlich, a pediatrician member of Doctors without Borders who went to Darfour to save children's lives, told my class that the Sudanese repeatedly harassed him in hope that he will leave. Tyrants and their supporters do not have any feelings of solidarity with their fellow nationals (I cannot bring myself to call them citizens).

Indeed, the easiest way to identify an advocate of democracy is his attention to the killing of national by their own people! Here is a perfect example from Al-Ahram Weekly, Is there national resistance in Iraq?" In"Anything but" by Fouad Zakaria the author focuses on the identity of most victims, i. e., Iraqis while in"Of course there is" by Abdel-Azim Anis, the writer is only interested in the identity of the killers!

Unfortunately, the international media agrees with Anis and not Zakaria. That is the reason you have probably not heard about the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG) which condemns Inter-Palestinian Violence and Expresses Concern about the Lack of Research into the Matter especially since the beginning of the al-Aqsa uprising, 297 Palestinians have been killed by their brethren.


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