Sharansky, Natan Sharansky
[town square test]
rice, condoleezza rice, town square test


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Sharansky & Rice
The town square test

In January 2005 George W. Bush gave over a large part of his Second Inaugural Address as President of the United States of America to a call for the promotion of freedom, liberty, and democracy in the world.

In this same month, and in association with this Address, he recommended "The Case for Democracy," a work by the former Russian dissident and now prominent Israeli politician Natan Sharansky, as a must-read for those who want to grasp his own world view.

President Bush's nomination for the post of secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, herself a Russian specialist, has done just that - and indeed quoted Mr Sharansky during her Senate confirmation hearings later in January 2005.

"The world," she said, "should apply what Natan Sharansky calls the 'town square test'."

"If a person can walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm, then that person is living in a free society, not a fear society. We cannot rest until every person living in a 'fear' society has finally won their freedom."

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