diet coke for breakfast

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Posted by Jake
President Bush Discusses Freedom in Iraq and Middle East

Key quote from Bush's speech:

Some skeptics of democracy assert that the traditions of Islam are inhospitable to the representative government. This 'cultural condescension,' as Ronald Reagan termed it, has a long history. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, a so-called Japan expert asserted that democracy in that former empire would 'never work.' Another observer declared the prospects for democracy in post-Hitler Germany are, and I quote, 'most uncertain at best' -- he made that claim in 1957. Seventy-four years ago, The Sunday London Times declared nine-tenths of the population of India to be 'illiterates not caring a fig for politics.' Yet when Indian democracy was imperiled in the 1970s, the Indian people showed their commitment to liberty in a national referendum that saved their form of government.

Time after time, observers have questioned whether this country, or that people, or this group, are "ready" for democracy -- as if freedom were a prize you win for meeting our own Western standards of progress. In fact, the daily work of democracy itself is the path of progress. It teaches cooperation, the free exchange of ideas, and the peaceful resolution of differences. As men and women are showing, from Bangladesh to Botswana, to Mongolia, it is the practice of democracy that makes a nation ready for democracy, and every nation can start on this path.

It makes me so mad to here people still peddle out that trash that maybe the Muslims don't want democracy. Since they haven't done it for themselves (clearly also false) they are clearly incapable.

Here is the comment from BOTW, Darren Kaplan, and Daniel Drezner with comments.

The thrust of this speech (and you should read the whole thing) is that the US foriegn policy in the Middle East is one of democratization:

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. 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. And with the spread of weapons that can bring catastrophic harm to our country and to our friends, it would be reckless to accept the status quo.

Therefore, the United States has adopted a new policy, a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East. This strategy requires the same persistence and energy and idealism we have shown before. And it will yield the same results. As in Europe, as in Asia, as in every region of the world, the advance of freedom leads to peace.

No more screwing around or dancing around the issue. If you are a dictator, I wouldn't invest in too many more statues.

I think that Kaplan put it best:

This is new and what Bush is saying is that bringing democracy to the Middle East is now the primary foreign policy goal of the United States. Forget all those who claimed the concept of "preemption" as the Bush strategy against terror. Bush has now fully embraced freedom and democracy as the only thing worth fighting for in the Middle East. He’s also signaling to Europe and the rest of the world that some of them are on the wrong side of this fight and that they need to lead, follow or get out of the way.


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