I Beg Your Indulgence

Sorry, I just like the Prez' speech today, but didn't want to lengthen the previous post. On objections to the "freedom agenda":

Some say that ending tyranny means "imposing our values" on people who do not share them, or that people live in parts of the world where freedom cannot take hold. That is refuted by the fact that every time people are given a choice, they choose freedom. [lists several examples but here's the money quote] We saw it when millions of Afghans and Iraqis defied the terrorists to elect free governments. At a polling station in Baghdad, I was struck by the words of an Iraqi -- he had one leg -- and he told a reporter, "I would have crawled here if I had to." Was democracy -- I ask the critics, was democracy imposed on that man? Was freedom a value he did not share?

The truth is that the only ones who have to impose their values are the extremists and the radicals and the tyrants.

But doesn't democracy unleash chaos?
Critics point to the violence in Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Lebanon as evidence that freedom leaves people less safe. But look who's causing the violence. It's the terrorists, it's the extremists. It is no coincidence that they are targeting young democracies in the Middle East. They know that the success of free societies there is a mortal threat to their ambitions -- and to their very survival. The fact that our enemies are fighting back is not a reason to doubt democracy. It is evidence that they recognize democracy's power. It is evidence that we are at war. And it is evidence that free nations must do what it takes to prevail. (Applause.)
The goal should be stability instead:
The problem is that pursuing stability at the expense of liberty does not lead to peace -- it leads to September the 11th, 2001. (Applause.) The policy of tolerating tyranny is a moral and strategic failure. It is a mistake the world must not repeat in the 21st century.
Yeah, but Mr. Bush, the Palestinians elected Hamas:
democracy consists of more than a single trip to the ballot box. Democracy requires meaningful opposition parties, a vibrant civil society, a government that enforces the law and responds to the needs of its people. Elections can accelerate the creation of such institutions. In a democracy, people will not vote for a life of perpetual violence. To stay in power, elected officials must listen to their people and pursue their desires for peace -- or, in democracies, the voters will replace them through free elections.
Is he right about that? And finally:
I leave Prague with a certainty that the cause of freedom is not tired, and that its future is in the best of hands.