What Would Bush Have Done?

As I watched the situation in Egypt descend into chaos and violence, I started to think about how Bush would have handled these situations. Bush’s foreign policy was predicated upon a belief that America had a duty to spread democracy. I wonder if Bush would have been more quick than the Obama administration to side with the protesters. Although I appreciate that the US has a very delicate situation here, I wonder if now we’ve acted too late and not presented the positive pro-democracy face we could have to the people of the Middle East.

I also wonder if we need to reevaluate our appraisal of Bush. After all, Bush was mocked for believing that bringing democracy to Iraq would help spark the fire of democracy in the Middle East. While I still think the Iraq war did not meet the requirements of a just war, it is hard today to say that Bush was completely wrong. We’ve already seen Iran’s people rise up (though they failed) and today we see the people of Yemen, Egypt, and Jordan protesting. I don’t know if they’ll be successful, and I don’t know how much our presence in Iraq has helped or hurt democracy in the Middle East.

But it does seem clear that the Middle East is seeking more and more to be democratic and that the United States may need to rethink its strategy and partners not only to improve its image in the area, but more importantly help the Arab people secure a free and democratic government.

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  1. I don’t know what Bush would’ve done but I don’t think this improves his legacy. The Iraq War is even less connected to these protests than Obama’s Cairo speech.

  2. I’m not really sure if this is attributable to the Bush Doctrine, though I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility out of hand. The difficulty is that what we’re witnessing in Egypt could blow up into something much worse than what we currently have in place, which just goes to show the folly of promoting democracy for democracy’s sake (which I’m not really sure was Bush’s platform, exactly). Considering the extent of the Muslim Brotherhood’s violent ideology, it’s eminently possible that what emerges in Egypt will make the theocracy in Iran look like a girl scout troupe. On the other hand, considering the relatively educated population of Egypt, the end result could be a democracy that eclipses what we have in Iraq. Ultimately I think we wind up with one of those two extremes.

  3. I’m not sure how differently Bush would’ve acted, Michael… he valued (and values) loyalty and placed significant worth in relationship with allies… I can’t think of an instance wherein he publicly supported an uprising like this in an allied country.

  4. Bush is history.

    Key question: What will obama do?

    One, thing: Obie did nothing for Iranain democracy demonstrators. Let’s see what happems here and now.

  5. Yes, remember our efforts to prompt democratic reforms in the epicenter of radical Islamist ideology, Saudi Arabia, failed miserably….

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