The more North Koreans learn about the realities of life outside their hermit dictatorship, the weaker the regime’s ability to control the political message. We should do whatever necessary to give the North Korean people access to information about the real world.
As the West has turned its attention to the Islamic State and the Ukraine crisis, the government of President Ilham Aliyev has expanded its crackdown on dissenting voices in Azerbaijan with harassment, threats, beatings, and arrests. Even American citizens and international NGOs have bet caught up in the widening net of repression. Read David Kramer's American Interest Op-Ed.
President Obama's call to arms against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), like his response to Russia's aggression against Ukraine, steps up U.S. efforts to curb major threats to U.S. interests. Does it also signal a greater commitment by Obama to stand up for democracy in the world? Probably not. But he should make democracy a priority.