George W. Bush’s Liberal Legacy

From Der Spiegel:

A Commentary by Jan Fleischhauer

Former U.S. President George W. Bush taken at his book signing in December 2010.
Former U.S. President George W. Bush taken at his book signing in December 2010.

Suddenly it seems everyone knew all along that President Mubarak was a villain and the US, who supported him until recently, was even worse. However it was actually former President George W. Bush who always believed in the democratization of the Muslim world and was broadly ridiculed by the Left for his convictions.

The West, it seems, is guilty. It is good to get that cleared up. Wherever there is an outpouring of public rage, as is happening now in the Arab world, censure must fall on America, the great Satan. The US is always in the dock. When indignation is required, one simply cannot go wrong by blaming the US. And Israel too of course, but only as a follow-up by those in enlightened circles who like to take history into consideration.

The current accusation is that the US supported the corrupt regime in Egypt and thus betrayed its values.

Aside from the fact that the Germans never have to resort to abandoning their principles because they do not play any significant role in foreign affairs, it must be said that this is, unfortunately, the way realpolitik operates. Whoever represents the interests of the free world cannot be too choosy about his allies or he could end up alone.

The free world has fewer friends outside Europe than it would care to admit. It would obviously be desirable to work exclusively with governments who share our democratic beliefs. That would only leave Israel in the region that we are currently watching with such fascination, as only Israel guarantees full, Western human rights to its citizens, including women, homosexuals and dissidents. But somehow that would also not be right.

A Shift in Liberal Sympathies

The sympathies of many honorable, left-thinking people do not currently lie with the Israelis, who grant the Arab inhabitants in their midst much more freedom than all the neighboring states combined. Astoundingly, their sympathies lie with the Muslim Brotherhood in the surrounding countries, a movement that hates homosexuals, keeps women covered and despises minorities. This is puzzling.

One would surely have been inclined to believe the accusations earlier if the outrage over Dictator Hosni Mubarak and his despotic regime had emerged before now.

There has not been one trace of a report about the dark side of the now-faltering Egyptian regime by the largest German TV stations, ARD and ZDF. And what exactly do they mean by “dictator”? Isn’t the man still respectfully called “President Mubarak” in the German press, from the left-leaning Die Tageszeitung to the center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung? It seems that realization can come late in journalism as well, and all the more forcefully as a result.

Now there are demands for a value-driven foreign policy, which resolutely stands up for global human rights. That sounds good — indeed, who could argue with such a policy? What is strange, however, is that the same people who are vehemently demanding more idealism were, until very recently, chastising the US for turning away from the principles of realpolitik.

Bush’s Belief in Islamic Democratization

Painful as it may be to admit, it was the despised former US President George W. Bush who believed in the democratization of the Muslim world and incurred the scorn and mockery of the Left for his conviction.

Everyone was sure — without knowing any Muslims — that the Western model of democracy could not be applied in a backward society like Iraq. Everyone knew that the neo-conservative belief in the universal desire for freedom and progress was naïve nonsense. It is possible that the critics were right, albeit for the wrong reasons. The prospect of stability and order seems to be at least as important to many people.

We can only hope that the desire for freedom will triumph in the end. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood have also put the blame on the US and Israel, though in the reverse order. To them, Mubarak is a “Zionist agent” and should therefore be destroyed like the Zionists; next in line are the “helpers” from the US.

As for the actual revolution, it appears that the Arab youth are not taking to the streets to burn US flags and call for the death of Israel, but to overthrow their own government.

It remains to be seen how long that continues.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

5 Replies to “George W. Bush’s Liberal Legacy”

  1. I believe that at the time those ideas were developed there was a woeful lack of knowledge at the top on the nature of Islam. Imagine you are the president and you want to know about Islam. Why not call in the nation’s leading experts, John Esposito and Karen Armstrong of Georgetown, and ask them – or somebody equally prestigious from Harvard? They assure you that Islam is a religion of peace and we all want the same things in the end. Bad President for not knowing that the top Middle Eastern Studies Departments are outposts of the Saudi Government. Who knew? I didn’t know. I guess George didn’t know. We all know now, of course, that if you allow democracy in a Muslim country, there is every chance they will freely choose to have all future elections outlawed right after the ballots are counted.

  2. I forget who the man was that came up with the idea of “Orientalism” this idea says that if any White studies a culture and writes on it there unknowing “racism” will come out and make that culture look less then the Western Culture. He created this stupidity (he was a leftist) during the 1970s and all of the elite and most of the State Universities adopted this idea in their teachings. The current mess is the result, some Universities are getting away form Orientalism but so far most are still pushing the anti-west program.

  3. That was Edward Said, Richard. Mr Said is the direct predecessor of John Esposito. What Edward was, John now is. “Orientalism” was the flagship philosophy of Mr Said and was adopted by much of modern Academia as the “truth”. It’s a cute little trick of sophistry which basically proves that if you are white, you are always wrong, unless you’re talking about Kraft Dinner or something.

  4. Thanks Chris, he is the reason so many people think we can change Islam and install a democracy in a Moslem nation. They forget history, the only time the US installed a democracy in a nation with no history of democracy was in the Philippines, and it took over 50 years for us to build the right mindset. Even then there is a massive amount of corruption, Japan had a form of democracy and we put a different one in place after WWII that didn’t stop them from turning it into crony capitalism the first chance they got. The US and British forms of democracy evolved over close to a thousand years of feudalism and semi-constitutional monarchy, and we still have people who are busy trying to hand control of everyone over to a small group of people.

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