Freedom on the March Again
Freedom House released its 2005 report and the results are pretty heartening:
The people of the Arab Middle East experienced a modest but potentially significant increase in political rights and civil liberties in 2005, Freedom House announced in a major survey of global freedom released today.You can also read the full report, where you'll see that "Free" countries is at its highest level ever, more than double thirty years ago!
The global survey, "Freedom in the World," shows that although the Middle East continues to lag behind other regions, a measurable improvement can be seen in freedom in several key Arab countries, as well as the Palestinian Authority. In another key finding, the number of countries rated by Freedom House as Not Free declined from 49 in 2004 to 45 for the year 2005, the lowest number of Not Free societies identified by the survey in over a decade. In noteworthy country developments, Ukraine and Indonesia saw their status improve from Partly Free to Free; Afghanistan moved from Not Free to Partly Free; and the Philippines saw its status decline from Free to Partly Free.
If you look on page five of the report, they have a graph showing that during Clinton's second and Bush's first term, the number of "Free" countries stayed pretty level. It's only been since the US, Britain and Australia spearheaded the Global War on Terror that there's been an uptick in the trend.
Hmm.... I blame George Bush.