Sunday, January 30, 2011

George Bush and the Egyptian Uprising
Mike Rappaport

Glenn Reynolds has been making the point that the Egyptian uprising might be more likely to result in good consequences if the Bush Administration had actually pursued its freedom agenda consistently and competently.  I agree.  In fact, I wrote an essay along those line for Pajamas Media about two years ago.

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Mike Rappaport


Correct. The Didactic impact of Gulf War Two, and of the surge is derived from their demonstration of our will to use force.

Presently, we just don'r know whether what is happening in Egypt is a good thing of a bad thing. Yes, it is desirable to see the Spiritual Jailhouse collapse the way the former Jailhouse of Nations did. That's what final victory in the Clash of Civilizations is all about. The downside is that what passes for civil society in Spiritual Jialhouse lands is so warped by a bizarre ideology masquerading as a religion, that what comes after despotism might be much worse.

Whether this a good thing or a bad thing will depend on the the Egyptian military does about it. Guns talk, everything else walks. We have to wonder how proficient and successful the Mubarek regime had been in the past in instituting a responsible military. Soldiers have to go with what works, and militaries place restraints upon fanaticism. I should hope that we got something for our money. I guess we'll find out.

Posted by: Lou Gots | Jan 30, 2011 4:46:32 AM

I'd love to think that you're right, but it's impossible to know until we have better information and most likely until this thing shakes out.

Posted by: Evil Red Scandi | Jan 30, 2011 10:08:05 AM

More troops? We barely had enough. And four years dicking around? Five years total to defeat the insurgents? A rather short time relative to most counter insurgencies.

We go to war with the army we have.

The unfortunate corollary? We go to war with the President we have.

Posted by: M. Simon | Jan 30, 2011 4:26:08 PM

Look, Bush would have pursued his freedom agenda more vigorously but he was derailed by the Democrats and an unfriendly media. Seriously, what more could he have done after 2005? His enemies at home had so demeaned him that his credibility abroad was weakening.

Posted by: Mark W | Jan 30, 2011 5:19:57 PM

Here are two things that cannot both be true. Only a small minority of Muslims are are extremists who want to kill or subjugate non-Muslims. If democracy is forced on to countries in the Middle East they will elect extremist Muslims. Events is Egypt may put these two statements to the test.

Posted by: Buck Smith | Jan 30, 2011 6:40:00 PM

Mark W. has it right ... though I will say that one reason it took so long in Iraq was that Mr. Bush and his team started looking for the exit as soon as Saddam's statue fell in Frodos Square, pursuing a minimal-footprint strategy, instead of pursuing from the get-go the more-resolute clear/hold/build strategy they finally implemented post-Anbar Awakening.

That looking-for-the-exit is another by-product of the Progressive-driven conventional wisdom of the previous century ... that we must not be seen as "imperialistic" at all costs, even at the cost of our warfighters' blood ... when instead the precision-guided ruthlessness of "No Better Friend - No Worse Enemy" is the path that establishes sustainable peace.

Given that foreign-policy foundations have (in our case, again) been deeply undercut by Progressives and their conventional wisdom, we and our allies probably lack the credibility to implement what I am about to suggest ...

... but what the President, ALONG WITH ALL OTHER RIGHTS-RESPECTING NATIONS, should be doing, is let it be known that NEITHER the status quo of Murbarik's police state, NOR a Muslim-Brotherhood-dominated Egypt, will be allowed to stand -- that we will stand with those in Egypt who seek to establish, not mere democracy, but rights-respecting governance via the rule of law -- and then, plan/prepare/act to carry out those words as required.

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