Skip to comments.Bush: 'Arab Spring' Is ‘Broadest Challenge to Authoritarian Rule Since Collapse of Soviet Communism’
Posted on 05/16/2012 12:26:21 PM PDT by robowombat
Bush: 'Arab Spring' Is Broadest Challenge to Authoritarian Rule Since Collapse of Soviet Communism By Elizabeth Harrington May 15, 2012
(CNSNews.com) Former President George W. Bush said Tuesday that the Arab Spring is the broadest challenge to authoritarian rule since the collapse of Soviet Communism."
These are extraordinary times in the history of freedom, Bush said in a speech in Washington, D.C., sponsored by his presidential foundation, the George W. Bush Institute.
In the Arab Spring we have seen the broadest challenge to authoritarian rule since the collapse of Soviet communism," Bush said. "Great change has come to a region where many thought it impossible.
The idea that Arab people are somehow content with oppression has been discredited forever," Bush said. "Yet weve also seen instability, uncertainty, and the revenge of brutal rulers. The collapse of an old order can unleash resentments and power struggles that a new order is not yet prepared to handle.
Freedom is a powerful force, Bush said, but it does not advance on wheels of historical inevitability. The event at which Bush spoke was entitled Celebration of Human Freedom.
While praising the Arab Spring, Bush said its critics adhere to a foreign policy that is not realistic.
Some look at the risks inherent in democratic change, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and find the dangers too great, Bush said. America, they argue, should be content with supporting the flawed leaders they know, in the name of stability.
But in the long run this foreign policy approach is not realistic, he said. It is not realistic to presume the so-called stability enhances our national security. Nor is it within the power of America to indefinitely preserve the old order, which is inherently unstable.
Two years after Bush left office, the Arab Spring uprisings swept across the Middle East, leading to major unrest in Syria, Tunisia, Jordan, and Yemen, and the toppling of Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Libyas Muammar Gaddafi.
According to a report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the Egyptian parliamentary elections in January resulted in a massive victory for Islamist parties.
Of the 498 elected seats, Islamists of varying sorts control nearly 70%, with the Muslim Brotherhoods Freedom and Justice Party (FJP)-led Democratic Alliance controlling the most at 47% (235 total), the Feb. 8 report stated. The Islamist Alliance-list led by the Salafist Nour Party came second with 25% (125 seats).
Salafists, the report states, who take a conservative, literalist approach to interpreting the Koran, are expected to focus on infusing Islam into domestic and foreign policies.
Islamist Abdel Moneim Aboul-Fotouh, a former Muslim Brotherhood leader, is also a frontrunner in the upcoming Egyptian presidential election, which will be held on May 23. Abourl-Fotouh called Israel an enemy in a televised presidential debate last week, and has said a 1978 peace agreement with Israel is a threat to national security and should be revised.
The former presidents remarks came a day after a poll found that 61 percent of Egyptians want to abandon the Egypt-Israel peace treaty that has been in place for over 30 years, up from 54 percent a year ago.
President Bush made his remarks while announcing the launch of his foundations Freedom Collection, which will highlight the stories of dissidents around the world struggling for liberty and democracy.
America does not get to choose if a freedom revolution should begin or end in the Middle East or elsewhere, Bush said. It only gets to choose which side it is on.
The tactics of promoting freedom will vary case by case, but Americas message should ring clear and strong, he said, we stand for freedom and for the institutions and habits that make freedom work for everyone.
In his second inaugural address on Jan. 20 2005 Bush said, We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.
So it is the policy of the United States," he added, "to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."
‘Twas gwb who tried to hand over American ports to dubai under the radar...did hand over maintenance of many smaller airports. The carlyle group is headquartered in dubai. haliburton is headquartered in dubai. More, much more.
“The idea that Arab people are somehow content with oppression has been discredited forever, Bush said.”
Sounds exactly like something Hussein would say.
Nevertheless, the wiseguys all said the "authoritarian" Shah had to go. So we "chose which side to be on," unleashed the Ayatollah Komeini on the people of Iran, and let the genie of islamic revolution out of the bottle. We have had a headache there ever since, and it is not going away anytime soon. Freedom. Democracy. Delusional grandiose presidents who think they have the gift of prophecy just because they got elected once or twice. Ptooey.
George, I am dissapointed in you. You apparently learned nothing from 911 and its aftermath.
Really? Hmmm. This must explain why it is that Hussein had been harboring terrorists for years prior to 9/11/01. And, that Hussein was paying blood money to Palestinian terrorist's families who died while killing Israeli citizens in Israel. Oh, and this must also explain why, after the invastion of Afghanistan, Hussein provided a safe haven for Al Queda and Taliban forces who fled Afghanistan. Great detective work you've shown.
My theory is that they found up that Saddam and the Iranians were about to bury the hatchet. Up to that point, Saddam was useful as a buffer against Tehran.
That should be “found out”.
He definitely has a screwed up view of what has happened. The Old School thugs were replaced by Islamist thugs and the people are still the filling in a crap sandwich.
“How did he ever get elected President?”
The majority saw him as the lesser evil. Sounds familiar. very familiar. And now it’s 2012!
Twelve years or so ago, I really loved Bush, and even today I give him credit for what he did to keep this country safe. But aside from that, I really don’t think the man has a clue.”
I agree with that.
McCain wasn’t evil, just stupid.
Neither the Islamists who are benefiting from the so-called Arab Spring nor the dictators they are deposing are to be trusted. Neither stands for freedom. Bush is completely wrong on this. The Sauds must be bullshitting him again.
Yep, Saddam Hussein, the secular Baathist, would just be thrilled to have the Salafist al Qaeda on hand to undermine his own regime. The truth is, Saddam, while serving his own interests in securing his regime, was also serving ours by his fight against the Islamists.
The Iraqi invasion was probably the worst foreign policy blunder ever in our history. Vietnam at least slowed the timetable of Communism's march. Iraq replaced a hard but stable situation with chaos and the establishment of a terrorist playground, highway and recruitment area.
I call BS. Very very deep BS.
Where’s the link?
An unbelievable leaked video of an auction for a suicide bomber against Syria. This takes place in a hotel conference room in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The atmosphere is festive, and the audience has children in it.
But the merchandise auctioned is human flesh and blood!
I am at a loss for it not being included.