Is the Middle East really destined to remain hopeless?
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In short, George W. Bush — who the Left told us was stupid — was vindicated in his belief that Iraqis would embrace the ballot box. In fact, in terms of directly choosing their own representatives, Iraqis far surpassed 18th century Americans and French following their revolutions and new constitutions.
In his National Endowment for Democracy speech, George W. Bush gave numerous examples of nations that have travelled this road unexpectedly but successfully, including unappreciated great strides in the Middle East itself. People should read the speech (click here). Bush made his case very, very well.
Still, even then, with all of that said, I understand painfully well that democratic elections in the Middle East can elect the likes of Hamas, perhaps Hezbollah, maybe the Muslim Brotherhood. Indeed, in some places, democratic elections may produce only one election one time. They could produce not Muslim democrats but theocrats. No question.
And yet, there’s also no question that discontent against Gaddafi, Mubarak, Ahmadinejad, is rooted, to some degree, in some meaningful yearning for freedom — i.e., real freedom fighters alongside (yep) Muslim Brotherhood types. The big question, of course, is to what degree. No doubt, they’re rejecting some nasty characters: Gaddafi and Mubarak and Ahmadinejad now, Mullah Omar and Saddam in the past. There is a desire here — in some capacity — for some form of human liberation.
Many times, George W. Bush insisted that God has placed a longing for freedom in all human hearts. Do we, as conservatives, believe that? Do we apply it to all humans, or only some? Do we believe that Islam has perverted that sense?
I suppose that’s the crux of the debate. Time will tell. As George W. Bush once said, he doesn’t expect to see the results in his lifetime. Actually, he may see them sooner than he thought.
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