January 22, 2005


Bush’s Words Are Full of Hope; Will His Actions Follow Suit? (Khaled Almaeena, 1/23/05, Arab News)

Now that George W. Bush is fairly well placed in the White House for another four years, it is important for us in the Arab world to read through his inauguration speech and try to figure out how to deal with him. [...]

He spoke of self-government, of the dignity of man, of the blessings of God and that no one deserved to be a slave. He allayed fears of many that America was trying to impose its style of government on the unwilling.

Rather he said America’s goal was to help others find their own voices, attain their own freedom and chart their own paths.

He had a few words for tyrants.

He did not mince words.

They were punctuated with carrots and sticks.

And for reformers he had words of encouragement.

He did mention the Qur’an when he said the “edifice of American character is built in families, supported by communities with standards and sustained in our national life.”

His focus was on freedom. [...]

The Arabs will welcome his speech.

No right-minded Arab man, woman or child would like to live under tyranny.

No Arab would like to be deprived of free speech, free media and the right of movement; we all aspire for it.

We want to be like our peers and counterparts in Europe and Asia.

We also have a dream — like the American Dream — of upward mobility, of bettering ourselves, of providing a better future for our children

For all this we need peace.

We need an environment that helps us produce a frame of mind that focuses on the positive rather than the negative.

We want to turn on our televisions in the morning to hear about higher stock prices, new contracts and the appointments of brilliant CEOs.

Instead we are plagued by scenes of suicide bombers, death and hordes of Israeli soldiers pointing assault rifles at Palestinian teenagers.

President Bush said: “No one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave.”

And we want to hold him to his words.

Mr. Bush should be held to the standards he set, just as Arabs should be expected to fight to realize this dream.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 22, 2005 11:49 PM

Message received.

Posted by: Sandy P at January 23, 2005 2:08 AM