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A community of values

The idea is spreading.

Recently we asked whether the answer to the desperate plight of Zimbabwe's people, and other people around the world, "was an alliance of countries which share the same principles, and are willing to act."

Other people have been writing about the idea, and some countries have put a short-term alliance into action when faced with an emergency. While the UN was dithering, the US Navy and the Royal Australian Navy worked together to rush food and water to people devastated by the tsunami. Japan provided support as well.

Today the Wall Street Journal published the first leader we have seen by owner Rupert Murdoch on the same subject. Murdoch, who was born in Australia and educated in Britain, is concerned about defending Western values and freedom -

In the aftermath of World War II, statesmen on both sides of the Atlantic recognized that the defense of freedom would require the active engagement of a new generation of leaders. The result was the Atlantic alliance. In the six decades that followed, this alliance helped the West prevail against Soviet communism and ensured the advance of democracy from the Atlantic to the Urals. . .

In other words, a strong and successful Atlantic alliance will have to ground itself more on shared principles rather than accident of geography. And we need to show we are serious about defending those principles by standing with those who are standing up for them.

He concludes that an alliance "defined by a community of values, institutions and a willingness to act jointly" could be "a bastion for freedom".

Update: We have just learned via Instapundit and the Associated Press that "The Bush administration is intervening with governments in southern Africa to prevent a Chinese ship carrying weapons for Zimbabwe's security forces from unloading its cargo."

That is another example of the work an alliance could handle - as long as decision-making was governed by principle and was streamlined.

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