Thursday, February 17, 2005

Model For The World

Remember Andrew Gilligan?

He was the journo whom the Bliar government picked to confront on the issue of sexed.up dossiers on Iraqi WMD presented to the public, on ocassion of a Gilligan report anonymously quoting a WMD expert working for the British Ministry of Defense; and who was forced to leave BBC after Bliar's successful effort to get a legal whitewash in the Hutton inquiry[*].

What not many non-British on-lookers realised was that Gilligan is no leftie, but a right-winger, ex-employee of the Torygraph, now employee of The Spectator. So it ain't a surprise that his latest op-ed praises Hollywood, the media and capitalism as the real positive force of the West. It is more noteworthy that he, a defense specialist to boot, makes the argument for Soft Power over Military Power in a conservative setting - if this thing catches on, it would be an important development (also for all shades of the Left to confront).

But the one point I want to quote him for is in this perfectly argued paragraph:

The idea of the US as a model for the rest of the world has also faded. Partly this is due to President Bush’s deliberate rejection of treaties, ideals and norms of international law to which all other democractic nations subscribe; Bruce Ackerman, of Yale University’s law school, says that American law, once the world standard, has become ‘provincial’. Mostly, however, it is due to the rise of alternative models. The larger democracies of the ‘New Europe’ all rejected US-style constitutions in favour of a Germanic federal parliamentary system, as did the new South Africa. It is an article of American faith that political and economic freedom go hand-in-hand; that prosperity is inseparable from democracy. China, for now and for some of its people at least, has proved otherwise, and is a powerful new non-democratic role model.
The other points are just as important (especially - my biggest worry for after a US decline - the last one), but I'm ashamed I haven't recognised the highlighted part before.


[*] Which was, I emphasize to those unfamiliar with British customs, NON-independent; Hutton was named by Bliar himself. Also, if you remember, the irony of the affair was that the government's position amounted to: "Gilligan sexed up his report"...

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