Writer says Bush’s interpretation was correct; No judgment on the method he used

From an editorial in the New York Times:

President George W. Bush’s decision to build democracy in Iraq seemed so lame to many people because it appeared, at best, to be another example of American idealism run amok — the forceful implantation of a complex Western idea into infertile authoritarian soil. But Mr. Bush, whose faith in self-government mirrors that of a frontiersman in Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America,” saw truths that more worldly men missed: the idea of democracy had become a potent force among Muslims, and authoritarianism had become the midwife to Islamic extremism.

Whether this means a war was the right way to support Iraqis in gaining freedom from Sadam Hussein is still open for your debate, and the author does not address that. This really is not a piece about Bush.

What it is about is the notion that people in Islamic countries are more favorable toward democracy than we might realize, and that could lessen some of our concerns about what happens in Egypt once Mubarak leaves.

The piece is also interesting in that it points out that the people we thought were the “liberals” in many of these nations were only liberal enough to not anger the rulers. The author calls them “court liberals.” The real liberals were out there, in exile or in jail, writing in Persian language, which you and I were not reading.

This is an alternative take on what our hopes and expectations could be in the Middle East.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

(Not a trick question) What color is the pink house?