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21世纪专制的进取 Fewer free countries in 2009
21世纪专制的进取 Fewer free countries in 2009in 陈凯论坛 Kai Chen Forum 不自由，毋宁死! Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death! Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:28 am
by fountainheadkc • 1.370 Posts
陈凯一语： Kai Chen's Words:
如果在专制进取的年代（如二战前和冷战中）没有为自由价值唱赞的道德巨人如丘吉尔和里根站出来，我真不知道今天的世界会是怎样。 在这21世纪专制黑暗进取的年代中，我希望每一个热爱自由的人站起来面对以中共为首的共产法西斯与以奥巴马为代表的西方绥靖派们说“不、绝不”。 --- 陈凯
If facing the advancement of despotism/tyranny, such as after WWI and during the Cold War, no body wanted to take a stand for freedom such as Churchill and Reagan, I couldn't imagine what the world would be like today. Now facing an unprecedented surge of despotism/tyranny world wide, I only hope that every freedom-loving person will stand up and resist the darkness led by the Chinese "Comfascist" regime. We must say "No. Never" to human slavery under governments, including here in America. --- Kai Chen
Fewer free countries in 2009/Freedom House
Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:36am EST NEW YORK (Reuters)
Civil freedoms around the world lost ground for the fourth straight year in 2009 with Iraq improving, Afghanistan falling back and China acting as if it were under siege by its own citizens, Freedom House said on Tuesday.
Bahrain, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Yemen moved into "not free" category, raising the total to 47 from 42 in 2008. The number of electoral democracies fell from 119 to 116, the lowest since 1995.
Eighty-nine countries were designated "free" and 58 "partly free" in the report issued by the U.S.-based advocate for democracy and human rights.
The four-year deterioration marked the longest decline since Freedom House began its annual survey in 1972.
Yemen, the Arab world's poorest nation, saw political rights deteriorate in the face of rapidly worsening security and the "increased marginalization of the parliament and other political institutions," the report said.
The report cited also "growing paranoia of even the largest and most headstrong" of the world's authoritarian powers.
"No country can compete in this respect with China, which -- despite its waxing economic and military prowess -- behaves as if it were under siege by its own citizens," the report said.
China's growing economic influence abroad helped repressive countries by providing investment free of the conditions often imposed by the West, the report's lead researcher said.
"As long as China can get strategic minerals or some kind of economic gain, they will invest in those countries," said Arch Puddington, director of research for Freedom House.
"It's a problem, especially in Africa. Some of these authoritarian countries have an option -- they don't have to carry out reforms that the United States or Europe might be demanding," he said.
While Asia was cited as a region of modest improvements, the report cited diminished freedom in Afghanistan, where a "deeply flawed presidential poll exacerbated an already unstable security situation and exposed the prevalence of corruption within the government."
Iraq, by contrast, showed improvement as the rest of the Middle East and North Africa region "suffered a number of significant setbacks."
"Iraq's political rights rating improved in light of provincial elections, which were generally regarded as fair and competitive, and due to the government's enhanced autonomy as the phased withdrawal of U.S. troops got under way," the report said.
The world is in a 'freedom recession.'
After the West won the Cold War, democracy flourished in the world as never before. No more. The tide of political and human freedom hasn't merely slowed but in recent years has turned in the other direction. Seeing that the U.S. midwifed the post-1989 world, these trends are of more than passing interest.
Democracy's troubles are summed up in "Freedom in the World 2010," the yearly report card published today by Freedom House. We're in a "freedom recession," the advocacy group says. For the fourth consecutive year, more countries saw declines in political and civic rights than advances, the longest such period of deterioration in the 40 year history of this widely cited report.
Start with the "axis of engagement" states that President Obama sought to butter up diplomatically in his first year in office. The authoritarian regimes in Russia, Venezuela, Iran and China all became more repressive in 2009, according to Freedom House measures. America's attempts to play nice didn't make the other side any nicer.
Military coups rocked four African states. Central Asia's one democratic hope, Kyrgyzstan, was demoted this year from the "partly free" to "not free" category.
The Mideast remains the world's least fertile soil for democracy. Only one nation—Israel—qualifies as "free." Most of its Arab neighbors went further down the path of repression. There were declines even in Jordan and Morocco, whose moderate kings moved in the past year to concentrate political power.
Iraq and Lebanon are notable exceptions. Along with Turkey, both can lay a claim to being Muslim democracies. Both, not incidentally, were beneficiaries of George W. Bush's "democracy agenda" in the mid-2000s.
The picture isn't all gloomy. Eighty-nine countries—which represent nearly half the world's population—are "free," according to the Freedom House measures, and 116 are electoral democracies. Twenty years ago, only 61 and 76 fit those respective categories. Never before have as many people lived without tyranny.
The recent reversals coincide, however, with America's own waning interest in democracy promotion. This didn't start with the Obama ascendancy. Chastened by the 2006 midterm election debacle and sinking public support for his Mideast policies, President Bush took rhetorical and practical emphasis off his own flagship foreign-policy agenda.
The current Administration has changed the focus entirely. In its dealings with Russia and China, strategic issues trump any talk of democracy or human rights, which earlier this year in Beijing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton notably called a distraction to bilateral relations. Ditto in Iran.
If in the days of Jack Kennedy or Ronald Reagan, we worked to fashion the world into a better place guided by the belief that the urge to live in freedom is universal, today we act as if we are resigned to taking the world as it is. We used to nudge countries toward liberal democracy. Now we assume the price of nudging is too high.
Meanwhile, the enemies of democracy have set out to undo the gains of the post-Berlin Wall era, and many are succeeding.