- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 16, 2007


Noble: Lee Edwards, the man behind the Victims of Communism Memorial.

Few people have the determination to stick with a project for 17 years. Mr. Edwards is one of those people, and he saw his dream realized on Tuesday with the unveiling of the Victims of Communism Memorial on Capitol Hill.

Persistence has been key for Mr. Edwards, who is a Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought at the Heritage Foundation and a conservative historian. In 1990, with the help of former Ambassador Lev Dobriansky, he got Congress to authorize a resolution to establish the National Captive Nations Committee Inc. to build the memorial. It was widely supported, but because of typical government red tape was not passed into law until 1993. It was signed by President Clinton — only step seven in a 24-step process — at the end of that year, and the committee was renamed the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. Mr. Edwards still had to get approval from federal agencies and myriad planning committees.

The real challenge seemed to be raising enough money to build a museum. Eventually, the foundation downsized its plans and created the 10-foot bronze statue patterned upon the Goddess of Democracy first crafted by students at Tiananmen Square. Due in no small part to his dedication, the memorial is finally here.

For spending 17 years honoring victims of Communism, Lee Edwards is the Noble of the week

Knave: Angelina Jolie, the hypocritical actress-cum-activist who doesn’t seem to understand the term “free press.

At the premiere of her new movie, “A Mighty Heart,” Miss Jolie tried to ban Fox News from the red carpet. She also required that reporters sign a pre-interview agreement prohibiting them from asking about her personal life. Ironically, the movie she is promoting is about slain reporter Daniel Pearl and the pro-free-press group Reporters Without Borders. Luckily, Paramount Pictures allowed the Fox crew to attend the event.

This is not the first time Miss Jolie has been criticized for poor treatment of journalists. When she and Brad Pitt traveled to Namibia last year for the birth of their daughter, Namibian officials routinely chastised journalists, attempted to suppress free speech and threatened to jail journalists if their documents weren’t in perfect order.

No reasonable person would depreciate Miss Jolie’s request for privacy. But c’mon. She is a hugely popular actress whose personal and professional lives leave her globetrotting. The publicity is a natural outgrowth. Besides, Miss Jolie’s latest film should signify her support for a free and open media. Her premier demands are hypocrisy at its finest.

For being a terrible spokesman for free speech, Angelina Jolie is the Knave of the week.

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