The views expressed in any article published in this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Joseph Foster or Bob Lupoli.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Was George Bush Right about Middle East Democracy

Joe:  do you remember or recall the idea suggested by George Bush that braining democracy would help bring about freedom and democracy to the Middle-East. At the time I recall think that his statement was just political hyperbole, political BS. I’ve had this feeling one other time when I heard Pres. Regan telling Gorbachov, in that famous speech to tear down the wall. Remember also that many people said that the Middle-East has no history of democracy, the people aren’t oriented for it, etc., etc., etc., (similar to what we hear about China).  As someone wrote;

I too thought George Bush was just grandstanding but right now I am beginning to think that maybe he really did have a vision on the other hand maybe he just got lucky? What more beautiful export can any democracy offer beyond democracy? Apparently GB was influenced by a book written by Nathan Sharansky, "The Case for Democracy." A former dissident & prisoner held in the Soviet Union. The main point of the book (which I haven’t read) is that the primary goal of US foreign policy should be the expansion of democracy. If this book really influenced GB then there is an intellectual framework for his actions. In my view, if we can bring some measure of improvement with democratic reforms to other countries we have achieved the goal of democracy.

Here are some links exploring the impact of GB’s policy and approach in the Middle-East.

The key question is does George Bush get credit or was he just lucky? –Bob

As Egypt erupts, his Arab “freedom agenda” is suddenly looking a little cleverer
Feb 3rd 2011
Mr Bush was indeed a far more active champion of democracy than Mr Obama has been. In 2005 his secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, gave a startling speech in Cairo in which she said that having spent 60 years pursuing stability at the expense of democracy in the Middle East, and achieving neither, America was henceforth supporting the democratic aspirations of all people. True to its word, the Bush administration nagged, scolded, bribed and bullied its allies towards greater democracy. The Americans leant on Egypt to hold more open elections in 2005, and in 2006 they talked an astonished Israel into letting Hamas contest Palestinian elections in the occupied territories. Even the Saudis were prevailed on to hold some (men only) local elections. All this was based on a particular theory, the post-9/11 neoconservative conclusion that the root cause of terrorism was the absence of Arab democracy. “The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands,” said Mr Bush.

Maybe. Maybe Not.
By Fred Kaplan
Posted Wednesday, March 2, 2005
Man with a plan? A question is haunting the blue states of America: Could George W. Bush be right? Is freedom indeed "on the march"? Did the war in Iraq uncork a white tornado that's whooshing democracy across the region and beyond?

In just the past two months, free elections were held in Palestine and Iraq; a rigged election was overturned and an honest one re-held in Ukraine; the Egyptian president pledged to hold competitive elections soon, too; and a popular uprising against Syria's occupation of Lebanon forced Beirut's puppet government to resign—all this, amid President Bush's proclamation that the main aim of American foreign policy is to advance the cause of global freedom.

Saturday, February 26, 2011 - 05:05 PM
By Justin Krebs
As the pro-democracy uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa surprise and inspire the world, now would be an appropriate time for everyone to thank John Lennon. After all, his lyrics in “Imagine” are clearly the catalysts for the transformative moments we’re witnessing. I’d also like to thank the Beastie Boys for telling the world, “You’ve got to fight for your right to party.”

Which is the same way I feel about my colleague Karol Markowicz’s provocative post asking It’s A Free Country readers to thank President George W. Bush and his agenda to put “democracy on the march” for the events we’re seeing now. Karol quotes a great line from the former president as evidence that he was right about the Middle East. But Bush did a lot more than give a couple good speeches — he launched an unnecessary war that killed countless civilians, cultivated partnerships with undemocratic allies and weakened America’s reputation in that region. Whether Bush genuinely was passionate about democracy in that region, I can’t say. His desire may have been authentic but the events we’re seeing now repudiate his course, rather than reaffirm it.

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