This survey of events [Galloway, Canada, Newsweek, Uzbekistan] suggests (and it just my opinion) that the real strategic danger to the cause of freedom and democracy isn’t from the noisemakers of the Left but from the temptation to betray principles for tactical gain. It lies on the very same path that Galloway, Martin and Newsweek, in their cunning, have taken. The Left hitched its wagon to the worst men of the 20th and 21st century and it is dragging them into the dustbin of history. Let’s go the other way.
This is an important point and one too often forgotten by proponents of realpolitik. Our advocacy of human rights and democratic self-rule are not PR, they are force multipliers and critical to our strategy. We use them not to be PC but because the alternatives failed. That’s why it’s important not to brush the Uzbek crackdown under a diplomatic rug, even if the regime is our ally (and why we shouldn’t ignore things like this).
The realpolitik response to Uzbekistan — we should cut the regime some slack because we need our bases there — misses the point. In the modern world our political and military effectiveness depend at least as much on our being perceived as principled and reliable as on control of real estate.