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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 4, 2006 / 4 Teves, 5766

In 2005, with America's help, freedom rang around the globe

By Jonathan Gurwitz


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Are we headed in the right direction? Is the global war on terrorism and a grand strategy based on the spread of freedom producing desirable results? Is all this talk about democracy doing anyone any good anyway?


Judging from the annual survey of freedom in the world by Freedom House, the answer is a qualified "yes."


The latest analysis of global political trends by the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocate for international democracy and freedom "suggests that the past year was one of the most successful for freedom since Freedom House began measuring world freedom in 1972."


Twenty-seven countries and one territory registered gains for freedom during 2005 while only nine countries suffered setbacks. Three countries joined the ranks of electoral democracies, raising their total number to 122. That marks 64 percent of world governments, the highest percentage in the survey's history.


Freedom House now categorizes 89 countries as being "free," in which broad political competition, respect for civil rights, independent civic life and independent media prevail. Those 89 countries represent roughly 46 percent of the global population — nearly 3 billion people.


Another 18 percent of the world's population — 1.1 billion people — lives in 58 countries ranked as "partly free," with limited respect for political rights and civil liberties.


Forty-five countries with 2.3 billion people representing 36 percent of the global population are still classified as "not free," where corruption is rampant and the rule of law, civil liberties and political pluralism are largely absent. The worst of the worst are eight nations and two territories that earned Freedom House's lowest scores: Cuba, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Burma, Tibet and Chechnya.


Progress in Ukraine, Indonesia and Trinidad and Tobago caused those societies to advance from partly free to free status. Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mauritania and the Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, moved from the ranks of the not free to the partly free.


Despite terrorist attacks and the efforts of religious and secular extremists, the Middle East registered its best regional performance in survey history. Only one of the nine nations that experienced declines in freedom during 2005 can be found in the broader region — Uzbekistan.


Iraq and Saudi Arabia notched gains that while not significant enough to change their overall status — as in Afghanistan, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority — still reflect important progress in a regional context.


Traditionally, these two nations have fallen at the very bottom of Freedom House rankings. Before 2005, Saudi Arabia had earned the lowest possible score for political rights and civil liberties in every year of the survey.


These are modest gains to be sure: slight improvements in the media environment and academic freedom in Saudi Arabia, partially competitive elections in Egypt or the extension of suffrage to women in Kuwait. Or in the case of two historic elections and a referendum in Iraq, the gains are fragile, prone to be wiped out by civil conflict.


Yet in countries ruled by religious and secular regimes alike, they demonstrate it is the political culture of the region rather than its dominant religion that is the principal impediment to the growth of freedom.


"The administration of George W. Bush," the Freedom House report notes, "building on policies initiated by his predecessors, has pushed forward an agenda in which the advancement of freedom plays a tangible role.


"While the precise impact of democracy promotion policies is often difficult to measure, it is by now clear that the efforts by the established democracies to expand freedom's reach are paying dividends."


Those dividends are being paid on an investment made chiefly in American treasure — the lives and limbs of its military men and women.


In 2006, may their sacrifice lead to an even greater issue of freedom. And may cynics of all political stripes and motivations take greater notice of freedom's success.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Jonathan Gurwitz, a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, is a co-founder and twice served as Director General of the Future Leaders of the Alliance program at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. In 1986 he was placed on the Foreign Service Register of the U.S. State Department.Comment by clicking here.

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© 2005, Jonathan Gurwitz

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