The protests in Egypt are proving that former President George Bush was right in his push for democracy in the Arab world, a leading Yale professor and best-selling author wrote Wednesday.
Stephen Carter, a left-leaning author, wrote in The Daily Beast
that now it’s up to Obama to build on Bush’s legacy.
“Not long ago, President George W. Bush was considered naive for suggesting that the promotion of democracy in the Arab world should be a staple of American foreign policy,” Carter writes. “Two years ago, the same charge was whispered against President Barack Obama, when he suggested, in his Cairo address to the Muslim world, that self-government and freedom “are not just American ideas, they are human rights.”
Both presidents, he points out, were subjected to lectures by so-called “experts” and career diplomats who claimed that democratic instincts were alien to the region.
That thinking seems to be headed to the dustbin of history with the regime of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.
Bush was “subjected to lectures from experts who insisted that somehow even to speak about democracy and freedom in the Arab lands was to show oneself to be a hopeless romantic, insufficiently hardheaded, out of touch with reality.”
“The much-maligned Bush Doctrine included a military component—fighting our foes on their soil rather than ours—that President Obama has fully adopted. It also included a moral component—the use of American influence to spread democracy and freedom—that was only rarely emphasized, perhaps because the Bush administration followed its own moral strategy only rarely.”
Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale, where he has taught since 1982. His latest book is "The Violence of Peace: America’s Wars in the Age of Obama."
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