May 10, 2005

REDEEMING FDR (via ef brown):

Time for a Return to Yalta (Mikheil Saakashvili, May 10, 2005, Washington Post)

As President Bush said last week in Latvia: "The agreement at Yalta followed in the unjust tradition of Munich and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Once again, when powerful governments negotiated, the freedom of small nations was somehow expendable."

Thankfully, the division of Europe created at Yalta, and the Iron Curtain that marked its boundary, are ghosts in our past. The generation of 1989 succeeded in the streets of Gdansk, Prague and Riga, and much of the territory Yalta allotted to a dictator is now part of the community of democratic nations.

Now it is our turn to contribute to the completion of a Europe that is whole, free and at peace. After recent discussions with presidents Traian Basescu of Romania and Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine, I believe that it is time for a new Yalta Conference, a voluntary association of new European democracies with three central goals.

First, we must work together to support the consolidation of democracy in our own countries. [...]

Second, we must extend the reach of liberty in the Black Sea region and throughout wider Europe. [...]

Third, we seek to expand the frontiers of freedom far beyond the Black Sea. Our message to the oppressors and their subjects is unequivocal: Free peoples cannot rest while tyranny thrives. Just as we benefit from the blessings of liberty, we have a duty to those who remain beyond its reach. In Zimbabwe, Cuba, Burma and elsewhere, millions live under cruel tyrants. Too many governments and international organizations appear willing to sacrifice freedom for what they mistakenly believe will be stability. We know that only the consent of the governed brings stability. And we know that if the world's democracies make liberty the priority of their policy, the days of the dictators are numbered.

The writer is president of the Republic of Georgia

Never too late to make up for past mistakes.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 10, 2005 5:31 PM

A Georgian friend of mine in Tbilisi was there when Saakashvili spoke with Bush earlier today. He said it was awesome. A newspaper article says the assembled crowd held up placards that formed images of the Georgian and American flags. Sounds like Bush is The Man over there.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at May 10, 2005 9:49 PM