Friday, March 24, 2006

Cornerstones

I don't know about you, but every now and then, someone articulates - and reinforces - something that is a cornerstone of your worldview. It doesn't happen very often, but like buses, two of them have come along at once:

Shuggy on why anti-semitism matters:
"...isn't it a legitimate source of dismay that what could reasonably be considered one of the oldest and enduring, most sophisticated, elaborate and organised human prejudices ever known still persists, despite the experience of the 20th century? .... if we [can't] learn this lesson from history at least, what hope is there of us learning any others?"

... and Tim Garton Ash on why the EU matters so much that it is central to any pro-democracy positon that I can think of:
"There are many reasons for the different paths followed by Belarus's western and eastern neighbours since the end of the cold war - the Polish way and the Russian way - but one of the most fundamental is this: that the Poles wanted to join the EU and the EU made it clear the Poles could join if they met certain standards of democracy, the rule of law, market economy and so forth. Now it's the Poles - and Slovaks, Czechs, Lithuanians and other recently self-liberated Europeans - who, as new members of the EU, are saying we must do more to sustain the cause of freedom in places such as Belarus. Besides direct support for independent media, civil society and the democratic opposition, and pressuring the country's leaders, the most important thing we can do is to offer that long-term European perspective.

They are right. This is the corner of Belarus's reality we can directly and legitimately change."

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