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January 5, 2009

Best Stories of 2007, One Year Later


At the end of 2007, I wrote two columns examining the top stories of 2007. One looked at the worst stories of 2007, and the other listed the best. Revisiting these columns a year later is a worthy exercise that can tell us a lot about our politics and our world – and, importantly, about our individual and collective minds. Last week we took a look at some of the worst stories of 2007. This week we reexamine the best.


The 10th best story of 2007 was Burj Dubai’s new status as the world’s tallest freestanding structure. This accomplishment was exciting both for representing the power of free trade and private-sector innovation in improving humanity’s standard of living, and for demonstrating capitalism’s ability to modernize Muslim countries and incorporate them into the global economy.


Well, 2008 strengthened this reality. In the last year, plans were released for the Nakheel Tower, which is expected to surpass one kilometer in height and easily outshine Burj Dubai. As if that weren’t enough, another proposal for the Dubai City Tower, also appropriately named the Dubai Vertical City, puts it at an astonishing 2.4 miles in height, or eight times the height of the Eiffel Tower. Just think of the number of workers that this wealth, brought to Dubai by capitalism, will snatch from the radicals and embed into the global economy.


Another of the best stories of 2007 was President Bush’s seemingly resolute stand in the face of Democratic attempts at withdrawing from Iraq and continuing the growth of government. A year later, Iraq is won and has thus become a non-issue, something one can judge from the fact that Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and the New York Times have fallen silent on the subject.


But Bush’s already delayed use of his veto pen proved to be short-lived in 2008, and his administration instead became a leader on the disastrous bailouts of the year. In one instance, Bush went so far as to bail out and endorse the failed business models of the Big Three and the UAW even when Senate Republicans were able to block such a bailout against top Democratic allegations of “un-Americanism” and “unpatriotism.”


Last New Year, Americans were still celebrating the collapse of the amnesty bill that did nothing but encourage illegal immigration. Today, illegal immigration has dropped, in large part due to the border wall and improved enforcement, and countless illegal immigrants are leaving the country on their own, never to return. For a long time, Americans were made to believe that the only two solutions to the illegal immigration problem are amnesty and deportation. The past year has demonstrated that attrition, brought about by the type of enforcement that reduces the incentive for illegal immigrants to either come here or stay here, is the most realistic and best solution to the problem.


In 2007, Americans further cheered the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the partial-birth abortion ban, which is supported by most Americans. They got bad news, however, when Barack Obama promised at a Planned Parenthood get together that “the first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). That’s the first thing I’d do.” FOCA would disregard the will of the majority of Americans and would reintroduce extreme abortion policies – not surprising for a former state senator who repeatedly refused to stop the horrific practice of post-birth abortion in Illinois.


The second best story of 2007 was America being safe from terrorism for yet another year. Who, on September 12, 2001, would have thought that America would go for more than six years without a terrorist attack on its land? Well, now it has been more than seven years. And of course, giving the hard-working Bush Administration credit would necessitate an acknowledgment that its homeland security and national security policies have been the correct ones, so we are unlikely to see any credit given by Bush’s political opponents, even though they would have piled on him in seconds if America had been hit in 2008. But Bush clearly deserves credit for keeping America safe, even if he is not receiving it.


Credit also seems to be missing – for President Bush or anyone else involved – for achieving victory in the Iraq War. Success in Iraq was already the top story in 2007. In 2008, the situation was even better. In the last four months, hostile deaths in Iraq were in the single digits – still too many, but a tremendous improvement nonetheless. The year 2009 will be a defining year for Iraq – but Iraq will be able to define itself in relative peace, stability, and security. We owe this achievement to our troops, who were able to victoriously execute the surge despite attacks on their morale by some of their elected leaders, such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who declared the war “lost.” The men and women in uniform have made our year in 2008, just as they did in 2007.

© 2009 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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