1 Feb

Freedom Marches On In The Middle East, All Thanks To President George W. Bush


Interesting to watch the changes coming in the middle east and to think….President Bush was behind much of this.

We have seen our vulnerability – and we have seen its deepest source. For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny – prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder – violence will gather, and multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders, and raise a mortal threat. There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom.

We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.

So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.
- President George W. Bush (Second Inaugural Address)

Egyptian President Mubarek’s days are numbered it appears, under strong pressure from the Egyptian people and the U.S. to make an orderly transition to democracy.

The Bush Doctrine….that doctrine which was his justification for toppling the Taliban and Saddam. It wasn’t enough to destroy al-Qaeda and the Iraqi WMD’s but to turn those countries into strong democracies so that they could be a beacon for the rest of the middle east.

President Bush (2003) –

“Are the peoples of the Middle East somehow beyond the reach of liberty? Are millions of men and women and children condemned by history or culture to live in despotism? Are they alone never to know freedom and never even to have a choice in the matter?”

Both Iraq and Afghanistan have had free elections and are on their way to democracy, albeit slowly and with a few bumps in the road….as our country had. But look towards Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Yemen….

Can you tell me that President Bush’s doctrine didn’t play any part in moving towards this point? The same doctrine that was sneered at by the left as unrealistic and naive.

Rory Steele – 2004:

The fragile balance of race and religion, managed by rulers of Mesopotamia for centuries by repression, has been destroyed. The invaders did this in the name of democracy, a concept unaccepted to date in the Arab world and one that is totally unrealistic for Iraq.

Totally unrealistic that human beings would want to live free?

Well maybe it wasn’t until Obama gave his speech that the Middle East then decided that “hey…maybe freedom isn’t unrealistic!”


About Curt

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 20 years.
This entry was posted in Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Bush 43, Bush Exceptionalism, Egypt, Fanatical Islam, Foreign Policy, Iran, Middle East, Obama Euphoric-Rapture Syndrome, Politics, Saudi Arabia, The Iraqi War, Tunisia, War On Terror, Yemen. Bookmark the permalink. Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 at 10:16 pm

24 Responses to Freedom Marches On In The Middle East, All Thanks To President George W. Bush

  1. Wordsmith says: 1

    Elliot Abrams in WaPo:

    The three decades Hosni Mubarak and his cronies have already had in power leave Egypt with no reliable mechanisms for a transition to democratic rule. Egypt will have some of the same problems as Tunisia, where there are no strong democratic parties and where the demands of the people for rapid change may outstrip the new government’s ability to achieve it. This is also certain to be true in Yemen, where a weak central government has spent all its energies and most of its resources simply staying in power.

    All these developments seem to come as a surprise to the Obama administration, which dismissed Bush’s “freedom agenda” as overly ideological and meant essentially to defend the invasion of Iraq. But as Bush’s support for the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon and for a democratic Palestinian state showed, he was defending self-government, not the use of force. Consider what Bush said in that 2003 speech, which marked the 20th anniversary of the National Endowment for Democracy, an institution established by President Ronald Reagan precisely to support the expansion of freedom.

    “Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe – because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty,” Bush said. “As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment and violence ready for export.”

    This spirit did not always animate U.S. diplomacy in the Bush administration; plenty of officials found it unrealistic and had to be prodded or overruled to follow the president’s lead. But the revolt in Tunisia, the gigantic wave of demonstrations in Egypt and the more recent marches in Yemen all make clear that Bush had it right – and that the Obama administration’s abandonment of this mind-set is nothing short of a tragedy.

  2. oil guy from Alberta says: 2

    To your lame stream media. Your precedent is won and dung. Can you guys ever come back from that gawd awful borrowing? The free world is finished. Supposed leaders ?

  3. Mike_W says: 3

    I think it’s a little unfair to blame Bush entirely for the disaster unfolding in Egypt.
    Radical islam taking control of Egypt through the popular will of the people; ah, the benefits of democracy.
    Democracy – an end in itself according to Bush.
    Bush really had no idea, did he?
    He thought everyone in the world thinks just like we do and wants just what we want.
    A spectacularly ignorant and very dangerous worldview for someone in such a position of power.
    So, if a society comprised of 75% homicidal axe wielding maniacs voted to create a brand new country and constitution in which axe murder is legal, then we should immediately endorse and recognize that constution as right and proper, because it was created out of a democratic process?
    A democratic process in a society dominated by islam will inevitably be used to implement shariah – a truly barbaric and horrifying theocratic system of laws.
    And we saw just this happen both in Iraq and also Afghanistan, where shariah law is enshrined in both constitutions … with much slaughter of kuffar(just ask the few remaining Christians left alive in Iraq), stonings and amputations following.
    The democratic process is only “good” if it allows a system of government which is good.
    Islamic societies do not see the world as we see it but rather through a primitive tribal and honor system.
    They do not want what we want.
    The democratic process in such societies will be used to implement islamic theocracies and to destroy the democratic process.
    Ironic, no?

    And now Israel will have a new enemy in Egypt on its southern border. Tiny little Israel is now virtually surrounded by mohammedans baying for Jewish blood.
    The Egyptian people are already talking of their hatred for Israel and the U.S.A. and of war with Israel, if you watch and listen to the street interviews.
    But it is the will of the Egyptian people and therefore right and good and above all, democratic.

  4. JustAl says: 4

    The explosion in Egypt was inevitable, as is the threat of islamofacism. Iraq and Iran are the only two countries in the region with enough secular history (being iradicated in Iran sadly) to have a chance of becoming a modern repulbic (true democracy isn’t workable anywhere). Bush’s gamble in Iraq offers the only alternate future for thinking people in other muslim countries. I doubt it holds sway against the murderous thugs in Egypt, but even a long shot is still a shot.

    Frankly, I think we should develop our own fuel soureces and let them kill as many of their own kind as possible.

  5. the advance of islamic powers was underestimated these last years enough to see our AMERICA with their forces having sympatethic ears in the GOVERNMENT at this time,even the GOVERNMENT leaving the border WIDE OPEN for them to use those channels to get in unseen for a time , but there at work on educating our young to join in their forces, and this is happening now, and we clearly see the attitude of
    leader granting that force more path way to the detriment of the citizens of this country and what they beleive in, all on the name of FREEDOM and TOLERANCE, but advancing their goals that are unstopeble
    at this time because hey are being FAVORED AND ADMIRED on the back of our PATRIOTS which have
    SPILL THEIR BLOOD STILL ARE AND diying since the BIRTH OF AMERICA for the cause of FREEDOM,
    THE FORCES of hate, have and still use the part they find weak in our quest to grant the WORLD
    with our FREEDOM to live under benefict rules, but we will have to stay alert ,for their ADVANCES is

  6. Aleric says: 6

    Don’t count Egypt out yet. It seems that the actual working people of the country, now that their jobs have been sut down and the internet disrupted have shown up to oppose the anti government forces. But the MSM is labeling these people as government operatives and yet they cast a veil of Democracy over people who have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and are violently anti American?? Where is the impartiality?

  7. John Cooper says: 7

    Caroline Glick from the Jerusalem Post pretty much sums up the situation: “The facts don’t change because you have pretty girls and boys in the streets demanding freedom.” The Islamists are going to use this “freedom movement” to install yet another theocracy on the border of Israel. The Israel-Egypt Peach Treaty is Doomed (YouTube) Some notable quotes:

    “The first thing the United States should do is just shut up.”

    “Nobody has an ally in the U.S. anymore…”

    “The U.S. is fundamentally unserious when it comes to thinking about strategic issues…”

    “The facts don’t change because you have pretty girls and boys in the streets demanding freedom; They have no organizational capacity.”

    “Western values are NOT universal values. They’re imbued; They’re learned.”

    “Being an ally of the United States makes you weak rather than strong.”

    “The United States will betray it’s most trusted allies at the drop of a hat.”

    The Obama (mal-) administration is totally clueless.

  8. Nan G says: 8

    For decades the people who ruled the various Islamic states in Northern Africa and the Middle East have scapegoated little Israel for every failure within their own borders.
    If people were out of work…..it was Israel’s fault.
    If roads were not good…..it was Israel’s fault.
    If many people were poor….it was Israel’s fault.
    If they lacked hospitals/doctors…..it was Israel’s fault.

    Everything was Israel’s fault.

    Apparently, however, the spread of the internet and social media have helped folks realize that they’ve been lied to by their kleptocratic rulers all this time.
    It doesn’t mean they don’t still hate Israel.
    (You can see posters of Mubarak with a star of David painted on his forehead in these protests.)

    But when the excesses of these rulers is plastered all over the web……
    A Muslim prince who murdered his GAY servant/lover while in a luxury hotel in London,
    A leader’s daughter shown swigging beer and in a bikini on foreign soil,
    A looting of their own treasury to the tune of BILLIONs by many leaders,
    and so on, and on…..
    Eventually the truth sinks in: the suffering of the people is NOT entirely Israel’s fault.

    To a large degree their own leaders are keeping them down.

    There are tons of Muslims-in-name-only bowing down and looking just like their very-religious counterparts.
    That is the best way to survive in an Islamic place.

    Sharia demands generational poverty with its prohibition against borrowing with interest.
    Sharia demands women in a subservient role, more subservient in some places over others.
    Sharia demands respect for your Muslim leaders but hatred toward the unbelievers.

    In Egypt, for instance, a man’s chances of finding a wife improve with the size and impressiveness of his ”raisin,” as the bruise on his forehead is called.
    One gets a raisin by bowing down for every prayer and very powerfully, hitting one’s head on the rug hard enough to eventually make and keep a bruise.

    Islam is a frustrating system for young men.
    Because parents do not value a daughter as much as a son, there are some who kill a newborn girl, other girls die in ”honor killings,” before they marry.
    Rich men may take 3 full-time and one temporary wife.
    So, there is a female shortage.
    Men need to be killed off or fight to expand their population base so they can carry away captive women.
    We are seeing this happen at the edges of Islam all over the world.
    The British just had an admission that 50-to-1 Muslims outnumber others as men who rape non-Muslim girls, trying to turn them into wives and/or prostitutes.
    In Egypt the kidnapping, raping, starving, forcibly converting then marrying of Coptic girls is common.

    So, what the original topic showed was President Bush having an idea what might work, and maybe Bush even tried to put the money behind encouraging that outcome, BUT there is no direct cause/effect between what Bush hoped would happen and what we are seeing now.

    Sorry, but I think other factors weighed in more heavily.

  9. James Raider says: 9

    “Interesting to watch the changes coming in the middle east and to think….President Bush was behind much of this. ……. Egyptian President Mubarek’s days are numbered it appears, under strong pressure from the Egyptian people and the U.S. to make an orderly transition to democracy.”

    It’s obviously impossible to gage the full extent and impact of any simple element, but Bush clearly was a driving, unapologetic influence in fomenting democratic thinking in the Middle East. Even with both resentment, and gratitude of U.S. military presence, there has been a constant “democratic” refrain which has planted seeds for “freedom.” Bush can take credit for initiating that chorus.

    The past decade has also seen the Internet explode, and has seen radical expansion in the use of social networks. In the Middle East, this has brought a much needed exposure to balancing concepts of governance from the oppressive royalties and dictatorships.

    I agree with you that Mubarak’s day are over. He’d do his country a favour to step down, because it is evident that the longer he remains, the more blood with flow. I may be looking at Egypt through rose coloured glasses, however, my own feelings from what I’ve gleamed personally, is that the crowds representing the majority of the uprising aren’t looking for a replay of the Iranian theocracy in their own country. They’re a strong movement looking for real democracy. The thugs of the Muslim Brotherhood are not what the majority of these demonstrators want to replace Mubarak with, IMHO.

  10. Nan G says: 10

    A poll from early Dec. 2010.
    Egyptian Muslims were asked:

    Is Islam playing a large role in politics a good thing?
    95% of those Egyptian Muslims asked said it is better for Islam to play a large role in government.

    Is Islam playing a large role in politics a bad thing?
    2% of those Egyptian Muslims asked said it is better for Islam to play a small role in government.

    Is Islam playing a small role in politics a good thing?
    2% of those Egyptian Muslims asked said it is better for Islam to play a small role in government.

    Is Islam playing a small role in politics a bad thing?
    80% of those Egyptian Muslims asked said it is worse for Islam to play a small role in government.

    Also three-quarters (75%) of Muslims in Egypt say they would favor making each of the following the law in their countries:
    stoning people who commit adultery,
    whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery and
    the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion.

    The whole poll is here.

    Still think the Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t stand a chance of taking over Egypt within, say, two election cycles?

  11. blast says: 11

    I hope you are right Curt.

  12. blast says: 12

    @Nan G, I wonder if you gave the poll in the USA and said Christian instead of Muslim how different the answers would be? Just wondering your thoughts.

    Prayer in school
    Religious symbols in public places
    God Bless America
    One Nation Under God
    to name a few…

  13. L. E. Liesner says: 13

    I’m just wondering if freedom is what the people in the Middle East are really going to get, or are they trading one form of supression for another form of tyranny. It is not in the best interests of Egypt or this country to listen to any advice from Obama or the State Department. Obama and Hillary do not believe in freedom for the great unwashed masses, freedom is only for the ruling class.
    With problems in Jordan. Lebanon, Syria and Tunisia all we can do is hope for the best, but expect the worst. Shari’a Law does not offer personal freedom, much less “Life, Liberty and the pursuit Happiness”.

  14. FAITH7 says: 14

    I know the US needs to have Foreign Policies. I beginning , perhaps naively, to wish the United States would have more limited policies with Foreign countries, especially dictatorships and oppressors.

    United States can no longer be the “Police” of the World. If emerging leaders for Democracy in Countries around the world want to learn about democracy, let them come to the U.S. to study and bring it home with them. If they and their country want it bad enough, they will fight for it. Like we did.

    Do I like the fact that human rights are destroyed or ignored by oppressive regimes and dictators? Of course not. That’s what ‘the people’ have to fight for or fight against…

    People of the Middle East have blatant ‘Hatred’ for the West. The leaders of these people for thousands of years have oppressed their own people. Why doesn’t the US wise up and just say screw it if they hate us surely they hate democracy as much because we espouse that as a Nation. To me, it seems like a lost cause. Mexico, Venezuela, North Korea, China, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Africa and on and on… all have dictators and oppress people..

    Lets get off Foreign Oil and screw the Middle East. Let’s worry about America First. Let’s keep America Safe from foreign and domestic enemies. Period. Let’s keep our nose out of other countries internal governmental problems unless Specifically Asked to do so.

    I hear our leaders ‘giving their’ opinions about Egypt, and no one in Egypt is listening anyway. They will wind up with a Regime worse than what they had. Browse this guys website: http://www.anjemchoudary.com this guy is scary and Egyptians ‘should’ be careful what they wish for.’

    I know the adage, keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer…

    I know I sound like a complete #$##$ &% %%$%% (you fill in the blanks). But, all this is really wearing me down…

  15. Wordsmith says: 15

    Excellent food for thought by Ralph Peters:

    we can’t indulge in fantasies about perfect outcomes. We have to deal with on-the-ground reality. And the reality is that Mubarak’s finished.


    We need to stand on the side of the people. Now. Otherwise, we’ll only strengthen the appeal of the Islamists—as Mubarak’s heavy hand has done. And failing to get on the side of the people would demonstrate, once again, that we’re hypocrites who talk democracy, but back dictators for our convenience—despite their treatment of the citizens they hold hostage.

    Yes, a democratic Egypt will see the Muslim Brotherhood represented in parliament. Well, guess what? In democratic elections, sometimes Al Franken gets a seat. Better to have the Islamists inside the tent, uh…waving out…than outside shooting in.

    Don’t let the pundits b.s. you, though: Those demonstrations in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and other Egyptian cities are not made up of fundamentalists. While extremists would love to exploit the situation (we’d only help them by continuing to pretend that Mubarak remains a player), they don’t, can’t and won’t control it. Look at the pictures. You don’t see masses of bearded men in traditional dress waving Korans, but guys in jeans and windbreakers, college girls and entire families. What you’re seeing is Egypt’s version of the Tea Party: angry citizens who feel their government has refused to hear their voices. The difference is that, in Egypt, they haven’t had an outlet at the ballot box. These are not Islamist fanatics. Let’s not drive them into the arms of the radicals.

    Could extremists take over Egypt? In the long term, it’s a remote possibility. But Egypt isn’t Iran. Let’s look at some facts:

    –There’s no Egyptian Khomeini, no towering figure, to lead a fundamentalist coup.

    –Iran’s military was hated as an instrument of the shah. Egypt’s military is respected as the country’s defender. In Tehran’s streets, the military was seen as the enemy. In Cairo, the military is welcomed and viewed as a protector.

    –The Egyptian military remains the country’s key power broker. It will not permit a fundamentalist takeover.

    –Egypt’s urban population is better-educated and more sophisticated than Iran’s was in the time of the shah. Egyptian civilization has a very different history and dynamic.

    If you still have to blame somebody for the crisis in Egypt, don’t blame al Jazeera, which is just behaving opportunistically (journalists are journalists…). Blame George W. Bush. Yes, the Tunisian popular uprising that unseated a dictator was the trigger for the demonstrations in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world today, but commentators have ignored the salient fact that, despite its long and violent ordeal, democracy is currently working in Iraq—the first democracy in a major, large-population Arab country. Egyptians are well aware of it, too. They don’t want to be left behind by Iraqis, at whom they look down. Bush kick-started a long process that will play out over decades—the evolution toward democracy in the world’s most-troubled region.

    For that matter, Egypt faces far fewer hurdles on the road to democracy than Iraq has (and still does):

    –Egypt’s population is very homogeneous, ethnically, and overwhelmingly Sunni. While Coptic Christians would form a minority voting block that requires state protections, Egypt doesn’t have the Arab-vs.-Kurd, Sunni-vs.Shia party-block problems that result in feuding militias and government deadlock.

    –Egypt’s military and other institutions don’t have to be rebuilt from scratch.

    –Egypt is not in the middle of, or recovering from, a bloody civil war.

    None of this is meant to pretend away the potential trouble Muslim fundamentalists might cause over time, whether it’s the Muslim Brotherhood at the polls, or al Qaeda showing up with suicide bombers. But both Egypt’s transition to a rule-of-law democracy and our own regional influence have a much better chance if Washington gets off the fence and sides with the Egyptian people, instead of clinging to the fiction that President Mubarak is still an option.

    For now, though, there is zero chance of a short-term fundamentalist takeover. Zero.

    We do ourselves no favors when we see fundamentalist boogiemen everywhere that we encounter Muslims. Islamist fanatics are a real and present danger. I want them dead. But not every Muslim who wants a decent job and an education for his kids—and who’s willing to protest and risk his life to that end—is a secret agent for al Qaeda.

    We need to face the extent to which our support for dictators has helped create the disastrous conditions in the Middle East today. Above all, we need to get on the right side of history, that of the popular will. And yes, in realist terms, there is a right side of history: The winning side.

    In Egypt, the genie isn’t going back inside the bottle. The country has changed irrevocably in the course of the past week. Our policies need to change with it–or we’ll be left behind as surely as President Mubarak will be.

  16. Randy says: 16

    I had some very close relationships with many people in Iraq. One of the first signs I saw when I traveled into Iraq in 2003 was “Thank you Mr Bush!” I have a photo somewhere.

    President Bush said that all people want the same things. He didn’t get into detail, but I found that to be somewhat true. Everyone I met in Iraq wanted to live without fear. They wanted more for their children (male children, but some wanted more for their female children.) They wanted an opportunity to do better in their lives.

    Many were like children in their understanding as to what freedom really was. As a senior officer, I was asked by a couple if I would give them permission to marry. As I stated in other posts at FA, I gave a civics seminar every Sunday at some school. I discussed potential changes in the lives of Iraqis under a representative government. One of the lighter moments was when they asked me how our country could kick a governor out of office and replace him with an actor. I laughed and told them that voters do not always make the best decision, but the decision is theirs to make.

    Yes, the think differently, but the basic things they want are nearly the same as what we want. They have difficulty defining what they want since they never experienced them. I still believe that television and the internet will make the difference. It will be the women who will be behind the changes. It likely will occur over a generation and will spread. I do not believe there will be a tolerance for dictators any more.

    I think what we see in Jordan where women are allowed to be more westernized is the people wanting more say in how the government is run. There is a high level of trade with Israel in Jordan. I smiled when I saw citrus from Jordan in a Kuwaiti market. The produce is trucked into Jordan where it is packaged as a product of Jordan. Everyone knows where it comes from, but they have deniability.

  17. FAITH, yes You have a good reason to be upset, like many AMERICANS some are just waking up
    to realize what problem this AMERICA is in, never tought their votes would lead them to such low
    achievment from the leader, we need more of them to wake up and be AMERICANS in their heart and soul not just lips and fingers, hopefully,there is no alternative, stay with us, time will do the healing
    when he’s at the right hours at the right day, your words are heard and you make the citizens reflect,
    on what to do when it’s time for action

  18. Wordsmith says: 18


    I would so love it if you started putting together some reader posts. Your comments relaying your experiences are enjoyable reads.

  19. Randy says: 19

    @Wordsmith: I have tried a few times and I could not makeit work. Will try again this weekend.

  20. FAITH7 says: 20

    #8/NAN G TOO TRUE!! Makes my blood boil… Ungrateful…

    What frustrates me is the ‘people’ (in many countries) want freedom, their leaders want to oppress. Their leaders spread Anti-Israel, Anti-American propaganda. These same leaders do not want their people to know how benevolent America truly is for fear they will loose power.

    They put down America and Americans constantly as though ‘their way’ is best… see this Muslim’s website: http://www.anjemchoudary.com – this is one scary, crazed dude. And a lot of ‘pro-Muslim” Liberals need to see this guy too. This ‘is’ the Muslim Brother hood…

    I didn’t add in my own comment that perhaps America should wise up to all these countries who spread negative propaganda about us. Perhaps we should stop sending hard earned American dollars to these same countries – it’s not ‘making’ them ‘like’ us any better. If they are going to ‘hate’ us then hell, give em’ a good reason to hate us… cut off 80% of the funding and what ever else we give to them – but get nothing but ‘Hate’ (the infidels) in return.

    Question: Anyone know what all these Islamics do for a living anyway? Seriously, what exactly do these people do as a “Productive” Islamic “Society”? Do they make anything? Do they run any kinds of Companies? Are any of them Business people? Where do they work? Do they even have an economy (Besides oil?) I never hear anything about how these people get money (on their own to live). I know many Egyptians make about $2.00 a day …. for what? and why is that?

    CUT OFF 80% ALL FOREIGN FUNDING. Time for the closing of American Bank Accounts to Foreign Countries. Let some other countries step up to the plates. Our Accounts are rapidly running dry thanks to Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Republicans and Especially Liberals. We have no more money to prop up countries who don’t want to help themselves….

  21. FAITH7 says: 21

    ilovebeeswarzone #17 – Oh, and this ‘One World United’ / ‘One World Currency’ is absolutely not going to work. Only in the minds of the ‘Socialist’ Radicals in this Administration and George Soros The United States should remain a ‘Sovereign’ Nation. Cut off funding to those who ‘hate’ us to our face. Hate us, but love our money?? Are we so Stupid (our Government I mean) ? Once America is gone there is no where else to run to…

  22. Wordsmith says: 22


    President George W. Bush and his supposedly disgraced “neocon” agenda argued that Islamofascism was a product of repressive Arab and Muslim governments and that our national security ultimately rests on the promotion and support of free, representational governments. He was right.

    Bush knew that in a world of 1.2 billion Muslims, many believers of this so-called “religion of peace” support America’s destruction and intend to work to achieve it. He also knew that we can’t kill all Islamofascists. So terror-supporting governments must fall and be replaced by something akin to democracy — based on the notion that free peoples tend not to invade each other.

    Before going into Iraq, Bush delivered a speech in which he outlined the case for and the objectives of the Iraq War. “President Bush sketched an expansive vision last night of what he expects to accomplish by a war in Iraq,” said the next day’s New York Times editorial. “Instead of focusing on eliminating weapons of mass destruction, or reducing the threat of terror to the United States, Mr. Bush talked about establishing a ‘free and peaceful Iraq’ that would serve as a ‘dramatic and inspiring example’ to the entire Arab and Muslim world, provide a stabilizing influence in the Middle East and even help end the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

    Bush’s then national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, met with Princeton professor and Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis, whom members of and advisers to the administration frequently cited for their war on terror strategy. Lewis wrote a short, profound book about the horrendous economic conditions and the stunted development in Arab and Muslim countries. He called the book “What Went Wrong?” Anti-Western hostility in the “Arab street,” Lewis said, results from anger generated by their own governments’ corruption and failed collectivist domestic policies, which cause high unemployment and widespread poverty. Egypt’s per capita GDP in 2010 was $6,200, ranking it 137th out of 230 countries.

    Rather than blame their own leaders, the “Arab street” seek scapegoats — Israel, the United States, “degenerate” Western civilization, Christianity, the infidels. Islamic leaders of these countries enthusiastically encourage this victimhood, and they fund and control religious schools that spread it.

    Lewis makes an argument that is simple, if complicated to implement. Only if and when these repressive governments fall, to be replaced by representational governments, will people realize that their “plight” is self-inflicted. Only then will radicals no longer have the base of support to threaten the West and Israel with state-sponsored homicide bombers. Freer governments in the Middle East, then, are vital to our national security.

    Bush called this the “freedom agenda.”

    Detractors dismissed this as “imposing our values” on a culture that does not attach the same importance to, and indeed rejects, such Western principles as individual liberty, equal rights for women and religious minorities, transparency, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and separation of mosque and state.


    Egypt’s president might well be replaced by a regime that is even worse — more hostile to Israel, the West and America. Since the Iraq War, however, in Middle Eastern countries where some semblance of free elections have been held (with the exception of the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip), the Islamist extremist parties have been losing, not gaining, power.

    Polls in Arab and Muslim countries show a dramatic fall in popular support of homicide bombings and for al-Qaida. On the other hand, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood — which Israel fears may end up running Egypt —

  23. Randy says: 23

    @Wordsmith: Summing up what you just posted, the dictators in power in these Islamic countries pit their people against the US and Israel because we are wealthy compared to them. This effort draws the attention away from the rule and policies of their own government. Sounds just like a speech last week that blames the rich for the problems here in the US. It seems like the left’s ideology is much closer to that of an Islamic dictator than to the principles of the founders of our country.

  24. Missy says: 24

    I enjoyed this blog post and wanted to share. Thanks to all our past and present members of our military that post with us here at FA. Not only do we benefit from all of you, your families and communities, as well as the world does in a big way!

    What About the Egyptian Army?

    As their nation’s capital descends into chaos and violence, one thing that continues to characterize this crisis in Egypt has been the behavior of its army – an army showing restraint. This is in a nation that in living memory had a military coup – by Colonels in 1952.

    No coup in sight. Additionally, instead of videos of soldiers running down protesters in tanks and opening fire on civilians with crew served weapons, we have soldiers guarding museums and largely being left alone by bands of roving protesters.

    While some are shocked that the Egyptian army isn’t following the example of other Arab armies from Syria to Jordan in the second-half of the 20th Century – really they shouldn’t be.

    Unlike the pre-Camp David Egyptian army and those of Syria’s Asad and the King Hussein of Jordan’s – the leadership of today’s Egyptian army carries with it an American flavor, a flavor seeped in over three decades of close association. Exactly the opposite of what Hollyweird and the anti-School of the Americas crowd would have you think, never before in history has there been a military with a better political and humanitarian ethos that ours. The more we share that, the better the world’s militaries will behave.

    In an interview with NPR’s Tom Bowman, retired Army Major General Robert Scales stated,

    “The Egyptian military has been very careful to send only the best and the brightest and the most promising officers to American schools,” he said.

    Today, most of the American military schools — from West Point in New York to National Defense University in Washington — have an Egyptian officer sitting in the classroom. Right now, one is even on a class trip to San Francisco.

    Those relationships, Scales said, build what he calls enormous influence with Egypt, “not just because of the schools, but because of almost 30 years of intimate contact from exercises to the sale of military hardware like M1 tanks and F-16 fighter jets.”

    In addition to that, there is the very personal relationships we share with our Egyptian counterparts. Under a structure in American law, policy and culture, security assistance and cooperation between the US and Egyptian for decades built relationships and acculturation such that the two militaries know each other better and understood each other more closely than the average citizen or reporters have with their Egyptian counterparts. That is why most US military officers are not shocked that the Egyptian military has shown restraint. Egyptian military leaders look to our habits as those as professionals – professionals do not wage war on its own unarmed citizens. They Egyptian people have seen that.

    As a result, the Egyptian people, for the moment, respect their military over the security forces. The military is a player in a chaotic situation – so far a player in keeping some sense of security for national institutions and the structure of a government, whoever that winds up being.

    What can the USA do for Egypt? Well, as a country we already have through all those U.S. military trainers and exercise participants through the decades who built relationships, understanding, and capability to see the American view of the role of a military. We paid into that potential positive effect for a long time, and for now see the fruits of that effort.

    I wish we could measure that effect or plan on it – but that effect is there and it may well help in a tipping point or at a minimum buy more time for civil society to step in.

    If civil society cannot find a solution – and you have a complete breakdown in security, then maybe you will see Egypt find its inner-Arab Army – but for now; a modern army is there, staying out of it. A very American, and very good thing.



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