Where’s Sharansky?

Would the Wall Street Journal risk getting a stringer to try the ‘town square’ test in Pakistan now?

Send someone to the town square

In February 2005, a popular magazine included General Musharraf in a list of the world’s ten worst dictators. The Wall Street Journal, in an editorial rejected that assessment. Why?

With occasional exceptions, Pakistan passes the test that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice laid out in her confirmation hearing last month: “The world should apply what Natan Sharansky calls the `town square test,’ ” she said. “If a person cannot 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 fear society, not a free society.” [WSJ, quoted on this blog]

Pakistan would not have really passed the test then. But would the Journal risk getting a stringer to try the Sharansky test now?

Yes, we should rub it in.