Combs Spouts Off

"It's my opinion and it's very true."

  • Calendar

    October 2020
    S M T W T F S
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    25262728293031
  • Recent Posts

  • Tag Cloud

  • Archives

Bush country

Posted by Richard on May 23, 2005

Thanks to Captain Ed for pointing out Fouad Ajami’s article in OpinionJournal (log in with BugMeNot). It’s a remarkable account of his four weeks in the Middle East, and of the sea change in American foreign policy that has brought hope to Arabs longing for freedom:

The weight of American power, historically on the side of the dominant order, now drives this new quest among the Arabs. For decades, the intellectual classes in the Arab world bemoaned the indifference of American power to the cause of their liberty. Now a conservative American president had come bearing the gift of Wilsonian redemption. …

Americans may not have cared for those rulers, but we judged them as better than the alternative. We feared the "Shia bogeyman" in Iraq and the Islamists in Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia; we bought the legend that Syria’s dominion in Lebanon kept the lid on anarchy. We feared tinkering with the Saudi realm; it was terra incognita to us, and the House of Saud seemed a surer bet than the "wrath and virtue" of the zealots. Even Yasser Arafat, a retailer of terror, made it into our good graces as a man who would tame the furies of the masked men of Hamas. That bargain with authoritarianism did not work, and begot us the terrors of 9/11.

… Mr. Bush may not be given to excessive philosophical sophistication, but his break with "the soft bigotry of low expectations" in the Arab-Islamic world has found eager converts among Muslims and Arabs keen to repair their world, to wean it from a culture of scapegoating and self-pity. Pick up the Arabic papers today: They are curiously, and suddenly, readable. They describe the objective world; they give voice to recognition that the world has bypassed the Arabs. The doors have been thrown wide open, and the truth of that world laid bare. Grant Mr. Bush his due: The revolutionary message he brought forth was the simple belief that there was no Arab and Muslim "exceptionalism" to the appeal of liberty. For a people mired in historical pessimism, the message of this outsider was a powerful antidote to the culture of tyranny. …

Read the whole thing.

Subscribe To Site:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.