Here's an odd couple. Staunch neoconservative Paul Wolfowitz and former Vice President Al Gore co-authored a column today in the Wall Street Journal. The two men are lobbying for the release of Anwar Ibrahim, an opposition leader in Malaysia charged with sodomy. Gore and Wolfowitz stress that they don't agree on much—but Ibrahim is an exception:
We come from opposite sides of the political spectrum and disagree about a great many things. However, one issue that brings us together is the case of Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister of Malaysia... Mr. Anwar has been charged under very dubious circumstances with sodomy, a criminal offense under Malaysian law. If convicted, he faces a possible 20-year sentence—effectively life in prison for a man of 63. His trial, scheduled to resume next week, threatens not just Mr. Anwar but all those in Malaysia who have struggled for a freer and more democratic nation. It is also important for the rest of the world, because it casts a troubling shadow over the future of a nation that should be a model for other Muslim countries.
Our views of Anwar Ibrahim have been formed completely independently of each other. We do not always agree with his views on foreign policy, but we do agree that as a political leader, statesman and intellectual, Mr. Anwar possesses qualities that encourage hope for the future. These qualities include lucidity and openness to debate and engagement; commitment to principles of accountability and good governance; and a serious concern for the future of his country and the world—not to mention his extraordinary courage in standing up for what he believes. We are convinced that he is committed to the values of pluralism, tolerance and freedom that are needed for Malaysia to flourish.