It Is Yang Worship Word. You Will Not Speak It.


This would have been a fun and possibly enlightening exercise for the president's speechwriters: Try putting together a State of the Union address without using the word freedom even once, let alone in every other sentence. "We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it," the president says, by fighting for the freedom of everyone else in the world and by fighting against those who hate freedom, including the forces of radical Islam and the rulers of every nondemocratic country in the Middle East. "We seek the end of tyranny in our world," Bush says, because "the future security of America depends upon it." Hence we will "lead this world toward freedom."

I like freedom at least as much as the next guy, and I concede there is something to Bush's argument that the world tends to become safer as tyrannies give way to liberal democracies. But that does not mean that going "on the offensive" to forcibly overthrow tyrannies throughout the world will make Americans more secure, given the unintended consequences of such a crusade. In any case, it is undeniably true that Americans can be free even if Iraqis, Syrians, Saudis, Egyptians, and Iranians are not, so why pretend otherwise?