Thursday, March 17, 2005

President Bush’s laudable program for global peace based on a world of democracies is one of the most important policy steps ever taken by an American president.

Since democracies have never gone to war with each other, he has argued, were existing dictatorships to become democracies the world would enjoy a peace twice denied during the sanguinary 20th century.

Mr. Bush has openly criticized democracies slipping into crypto-dictatorships as in the case ofRussia under Vladimir Putin. Mr. Bush has put the nondemocratic world on notice he will do what he can and whenever feasible to drive dictatorial societies onto the road to democracy. His minatory words are having an effect, most recently with Eypt’s President Mubarak announcing he will allow opposition to his bid for re-election.

Strengthening Mr. Bush’s position on global democratization requires one further step: a joint congressional resolution supporting his policy, a resolution which would or should have bipartisan support. Such a resolution would undercut the anti-American skeptics like French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who privately regard Mr. Bush as a nutcase they have to pretend to respect. Such a resolution would show the world Mr. Bush has the full support of America’s political institutions.

The joint resolution would read something like this:

WHEREAS, history has shown us that no democracy, since the first modern democracy was created in 1789, has ever gone to war with another democracy;

WHEREAS, a world of democracies would mean a world at peace;

WHEREAS, as more democracies come into being, world peace becomes a certain reality;

WHEREAS, nondemocratic states can be so weakened by sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council that the overthrow of such rulership becomes inevitable;

AND WHEREAS, presently two states — Iran and North Korea — threaten regional peace and, with the danger of nuclear proliferation, world peace itself;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Congress of the United States that if the United Nations fails to act, action should be sought by President Bush through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or similar regional bodies for the imposition of sanctions against nondemocratic states since they imperil world peace;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that member States of United Nations who have been elected to U.N. commissions dealing with human rights who themselves are open violators of human rights in their own states, should be voted off such bodies;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that nation-states who are provably guilty of violating the right of free association and free trade unionism, most notably the People’s Republic of China, be suspended from the International Labor Organization until such time as they demonstrate a process of reform.

So will the congressional leadership in both houses and of both parties jointly sponsor the resolution that seeks no partisan advantage but which could help usher in an era of peace?

Arnold Beichman, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, is a columnist for The Washington Times.

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