Bush’s speech yesterday will go by the wayside in Europe and Liberal America precisely because of what he did not say. Bush did not generalize, he did not mince words.
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.
That’s a heavy indictment of former American policies and the current policies of countries like France and Germany. Of course, that quote is being used to forge headlines like this in Spain: “Bush admits his failure at democratizing the Middle East“. If that is the kind of reaction we can expect, then I see little hope for people that tacitly approve of barbarism and hatred.
You can read the entire speech here.
UPDATE: Arabs in the Middle East also taking Bush’s “Democracy in the Middle East” speech with the same reaction as Old Europe, with a new twist. They’re using America’s occupation of Iraq as a springboard for levelling accusations of hypocrisy against the United States. They manage to throw in a few anti-Semitic remarks in there, which in my opinion automatically lowers the quality of anything even remotely rational in their statements. For example:
“Bush’s speech is like a boring, broken record that nobody believes,” said Gulf-based political analyst Moghazy al-Badrawy.
“He wants democracy and the U.S. is occupying Iraq and its ally Israel is killing Palestinians? Arabs just don’t buy it.”
Democracy and foreign occupation are not necessarily mutually exclusive. And what the heck does Israel have to do with this debate? Even if Israel was killing Palestinians indiscriminately, as this statement implies, and which is entirely untrue, Moghazy al-Badrawy easily neglects to mention suicide killing of innocent Israel civilians, and I notice doesn’t point out that Arab neighbors won’t even let Palestinians in to their countries except to live in camps. Palestinians can’t own land in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, or Iran. Yet Israel gets all the blame for current and past Palestinian woes. Seems just a tad one sided to me.