Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Egyptian Revolution: George Bush's Defining Moment?

Over the past two years, we've seen an interesting inverse ratio - Barack Obama's star, once deemed brightest in the firmament, dimming more rapidly than a government-approved fluorescent bulb, while George W. Bush's returns to a glory he may not have seen since the early days of the post-9/11 era, all without saying a word.

Perhaps it is because actions speak louder than them. Maybe it is because it turns out that the smartest guys don't always need rooms full of synchophants telling them just how brilliantly they shine. And it turns out that "book smart" may
just not be smart enough to run a super-power:

Turns out that Bush knew a thing or two. He may not have been all that sophisticated by some standards, but like Ronald Reagan, he grasped basic truths that eluded the intellectuals. Reagan, recall, earned endless scorn for suggesting that the “evil empire” might soon be consigned to the “ash heap of history.” But he understood that basic human desires for freedom could not be repressed forever. Bush understood precisely the same thing, and like Reagan he also realized that the U.S. had to get on the right side of history by championing freedom rather than by cutting disreputable deals with dictators.

Or perhaps Bush's regained stature has to do with the fact that even the hard core left is conceding Bush's points, the sames ones they rejected as not quite being "smart diplomacy". Speaking's
Fareed Zakaria:

This sort of striving for democracy is what Arab intellectuals have yearned for, speaking of the freedom deficit in their lands, which is quite true. And, of course, George W. Bush set forth to fix the problem with what he called a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East...

...give President George W. Bush his due. He saw the problem and he believed that Arabs were not genetically incapable of democracy, and he put America's moral might behind the great cause of Arab reform.

Erstwhile Bush opponent John Kerry finally - six years after the fact - comes around to the fact that Bush was right, and
takes a tougher stand - more "rightward?" - than Hillary Clinton

Kerry echoed Clinton's message...But he went one step further than the administration in calling on Mubarak to actually hold free elections.

"In the case of Egypt, President Mubarak has the opportunity to quell the unrest by guaranteeing that a free and open democratic process will be in place when the time comes to choose the country's next leader later this year," the statement read.

Even Chris Matthews attributed the Egyptian uprising to George Bush, although it seems as if the very fact of Bush's apparent prophetic powers simultaneously drove him off the deep end (
video at the link) as well:

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

Leading off tonight: Unrest in Egypt. Proving the Iraq war wasn`t needed, these protests in Egypt, as well as in Yemen and Tunisia, are all aimed at dictators supported by the U.S. The demonstrations have not yet turned anti-American, but they could. These are the events the Bush administration hoped to encourage by lying about weapons of mass destruction and invading Iraq.

On the
New York Times opinion pages, we see...nothing at all about the unfolding Egyptian Revolution, and insteadwe are provided with Obama love stories from Maureen Dowd and Tea-Party bashing from Frank Rich. Sigh. If you can't speak ill of George W. Bush, the Times seems to feel, don't speak of him at all.

That's fine. Don't speak of him. Your filthy mouths are not fit to utter his great name. You, who mocked, sneered, and defiled a great president and a great man for
speaking thusly:

"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?"

The Times said yes, as did the Democratic party. Turns out that history doesn't follow the will - or theories - of the Times editorial board, or the Hard Left. Seems like some are awakening to that fact. Will be interesting to see who remains a denier, though, besides the New York Times and possibly Barack Obama.

Hey - every century has had it's "flat-earthers". So we have ours. Unfortunately they currently hold positions of power and communication, but that too is not forever...


Conservative Libertine said...

The sad truth is that The Times and the left are busy trying to figure out how to spin this into Obama's crowning achievement, since he needs one so badly.

Clearly it must have been the apology to Muslims speech that obama gave in Cairo.

Jkw said...

Nice Write Up.

Bush didn't do everything correct, but history will remember him fondly.

The JerseyNut said...

I think that is correct, and that's why the Times is "pausing" in their coverage, as they desperately scheme up a way to re-write history, as liberals tend to do when it doesn't turn out to fit their narrative.

And history will remember Bush well; fondly for sure, if not Reaga-esque than certainly at least as a strong wartime leader who saw the future better than most of his contemporaries.

I hope too that history takes note of his most voracious critics and point out who they were, and how wrong they were.

That could prove to be the most important lesson of all.

Anonymous said...

A defining moment for both Obama and Bush - should Mubarak survive, so will the Left's appeasement of tyrants for convenience's sake, and Obama will look at the wiser for "staying out of it", and Bush's policy will look that much more unrealistic.

Not saying I support Obama's moves here, just saying the worm might turn to his advantage.

Jimimak said...

you right-wingers are nuts. You're the ones trying to re-write history. George Bush took a pretty good country and economy and screwed it all up. Most of the American people and historians agree on that. His approval rating with the total American people, not just you nuts, was very low, but not as low as your big hero Cheney's at eight percent!!!

Chris Beyer said...

The middle east dictators are in power due to American and western support. Political stability in the middle east ensures a stable supply of oil for the west. The bullets, bombs, and intelligence that the dictators use to remain in power are supplied by the United States. Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and now Obama are still selling weapons and providing training to the armies and police who oppress their people. Anyone who now claims that America is somehow responsible for the overthrow of American-backed dictators is either delusional or has no knowledge of the power structure in the Arab world. Elliot Abrams and all of the Bush era supporters of autocrats are included.