The nightly national news is a daily reminder of how fortunatewe are to be Americans. Despite our economic problems and plethoraof concerns, America, as a result of its individual liberties,broad freedoms and civil protections, stands first amongnations.In our nation’s 235-year history this has always been thedifference between the United States and its sovereign colleagues.Yet, it seems to me that not since the fall of the Iron Curtain orthe end of World War II has this been so evident.Just about every Arab nation is either in the middle of arevolution, on its second or third government since its lastrevolution or working diligently to suppress its population in thehopes of avoiding a revolution. All their citizens want is what wehave always enjoyed.Sadly, it seems that this region’s upheavals are a long way fromproducing the desired result. The reformers constantly become thenewest version of the suppressors in the Middle East. We can onlypray that bloodshed be kept to a minimum.And then there is the majority of Asia. Economic success should notfool anyone into thinking that the billion-plus people of mainlandChina, Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea as well as other countries,enjoy anything remotely similar to what we consider routine andnormal.For two thirds of the inhabitants of Africa, absolute dictators,tribal kings or complete anarchy is what they wake up to each day.Life is so cruel and dangerous in many of these countries that theflame of freedom does not even flicker.Although many of the nations of Central and South America today arefaring better vs. a decade ago, military juntas and long-terminstability is still a real concern for many. And of course youstill have the world’s ultimate offender, Cuba, as well as itsapprentice, Venezuela. The rhetoric of their leaders should offendall freedom-loving Americans.Europe, a growing captive to its socialistic philosophy, has seenmore and more individual freedoms evaporate under the heatgenerated by insanely expensive programs that suck into oblivionthe ability to live free of government intrusion. In many ways,this is the most insidious of threats and possibly the one we asAmericans should most fear.I am sure you can see a common thread. What we have in America isfar from the norm. And the evidence of the special nature ofAmerica can be found each day in the international pages of The NewYork Times or on the nightly news. You do not even need to readbetween the lines or look for special reports. It is front andcenter every day of the week.So, when foreign commentators or simply American stooges try totell you otherwise, remember that the simple right that they haveexercised by criticizing is greater then the rights enjoyed by mostof the world’s population.Many, including, me would consider these rights more valuable thenany material thing that anyone can produce. And more then a fewAmericans have considered the protection of these rights morevaluable than life itself.
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