Comment Last Three
February 04, 2009
President Bush reached out to Muslims during his 8 years in office, but was not given the credit by liberals around the world. President Bush tried to base his assertive diplomatic plans based on mutual respect and interests, but remained strong against those who wanted to destroy America.
The Islamic terrorists and dictators are fanatics and mass murderers. They have created decades of misrule, oppression and Islamist propaganda that have created jihadism. President Bush sought to transform the Middle East by bringing democracy and political pluralism. He understood that the only way to eliminate the root cause of terrorism was to sweep away the old autocratic structures that blocked individual rights.
Mr. Bush's pro-democracy, pro-freedom agenda threatened the rotting status quo, the powerful princes and corrupt clerics who have kept the Arab masses in poverty and ignorance for generations. This has allowed hatred and resentment to fester, eating away at the region's body politic - enabling radical Islam to fill the void.
Under Mr. Bush's leadership, the United States toppled the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, overthrew Saddam Hussein's fascist dictatorship in Iraq, helped drive Syria from its occupation of Lebanon, laid a path to an independent Palestinian state (provided it renounces terrorism), forced Libya to abandon its weapons of mass destruction, saved millions of African Muslims from the scourge of AIDS, and prevented Pakistan from falling into the hands of Islamist extremists.
The United States has done more for Muslims around the world than any other country. So why did they hate President Bush and fight his pro-democracy policies? I have served in the Middle East and understand their mentality and thought process, which is not our way of doing things.
It is not America's flaws that need to be focused on; it is the Muslim world's deep-seated flaws. The region is dysfunctional, and the only thing that can fix it is real reform - the kind ushered in by the Bush administration. "Listening" as President Obama wants to do will do nothing to the Saudi princes or inept Palestinian leaders or corrupt Egyptian strongmen. President Obama will not be successful in "listening" to these extremists and will sadly learn from personal experience.