May 19, 2011

A WHITER W:

President Obama finds his inner George W. Bush (Will Inboden, May 19, 2011, Foreign Policy)

Make no mistake about just how dramatic today's speech is. In his remarks today, President Obama also found his "inner George W. Bush" -- and effectively departed from the first 2 ½ years of his own administration's foreign policy. Though not mentioned by name in the speech, the strategic logic of the Bush Doctrine loomed large. It was Bush who in a November 2003 address to the National Endowment for Democracy declared:

Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe -- because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty. As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment, and violence ready for export. And with the spread of weapons that can bring catastrophic harm to our country and to our friends, it would be reckless to accept the status quo. Therefore, the United States has adopted a new policy, a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East. This strategy requires the same persistence and energy and idealism we have shown before. And it will yield the same results.

And today President Obama announced that "after decades of accepting the world as it is in the region, we have a chance to pursue the world as it should be … it will be the policy of the United States to promote reform across the region, and to support transitions to democracy."

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Posted by at May 19, 2011 1:59 PM
  

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