Bush's Domino Effect

Today's liberal press has made digging for a hot story quite simple.  The secret is to take any domestic or international event or crisis, wait a few days, and then note the singular and glaring omission -- the unremarked elephant in the room in other words.  Since the mainstream press in America has bargained critical thinking for idol worship, the truth often sits quite open and exposed for the rest of us -- a case of easy pickings.

Last week's dramatic demonstration for freedom in Iran provides the latest example of leftist, self-imposed tunnel vision.  The professors and pundits have assured us that a combination of forces -- cyberspace, feminism, the youth factor, Barack Obama -- have created the perfect storm for Iran's contemporary rising tide of freedom. 

For example, in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial, Professor Saad Ibrahim of Harvard University credits "the Obama effect" (specifically Obama's Cairo speech) with energizing "the democratic spirit in the Middle East."  Somehow Mr. Obama's demonstrated reluctance to support the oppressed Iranians never made it to Professor Ibrahim's lecture notes.  Nor did the professor extend any credit to President Bush for igniting this latest spark of freedom in Iran.

Indeed, with an essay entitled "The Mideast's New Spring of Freedom" one would think President Bush's liberation of Iraq would merit inclusion on Professor Ibrahim's list of beneficent ingredients responsible for the current ethos of liberation.  America sacrificed thousands of treasured lives and billions of dollars to promote democracy and freedom in Iraq.  Incredibly, to Mr. Ibrahim however it was the Bush Administration that was responsible for undermining "democracy promotion" in the Middle East:

"Given the elections in Lebanon, Kuwait and Iran, [Obama] and his advisors should resist overreacting to the mistakes of the Bush administration by backtracking on democracy promotion."

When an Iraqi reporter threw a shoe at President Bush last year my first thought was to check whether "Ingratitude" had made the list of the Seven Deadly Sins.  Sadly, I found that for some reason it didn't make the cut.  When Professor Ibrahim equates America's sacrifices for democracy in the Middle East with "mistakes" he's either profoundly ungrateful or simply trolling for tenure at Harvard.  In either case his rewriting of recent Middle East history would surely make George Orwell smile. 

Maybe the underlying theme here is the hard left's antipathy to domino theories -- both the good ones and the bad.  Back in the early 1950s President Eisenhower warned of a domino effect in Southeast Asia if Vietnam were to fall to the communists.  In the early 1960s President Kennedy reiterated the theory to justify his commitment to our South Vietnamese allies.  Throughout the later 1960s and afterward liberal academics and journalists made fun of the domino theory.  Hindsight is a brutal teacher however.  After the fall of South Vietnam in 1975 Laos and Cambodia fell too -- resulting in millions of innocent civilians starved and murdered in the name of communism.

While Professor Ibrahim credits what he calls the "Obama Effect" for producing the latest outbreak of reform in the Middle East, history will see something quite different: the Bush Effect.  Democracy, elections, and freedom in Iraq could not fail to have an impact on the minds of Muslim moderates, especially in Iran.  How does a woman or a young person in Iran manage to put up with a medieval tyranny when across the border in Iraq individuals are starting to flourish under the banner of self-determination and liberty? 

Barack Obama's rather suspicious early response to the exciting and poignant cry for freedom in Iran should have finally ripped the blinders off of Obama's swooning supporters in the human rights establishment.  Truth be told, never does Mr. Obama look as awkward as he does when he's forced to mouth support for "democracy" and "freedom" either at home or abroad.  It's not in the nature of a socialist in other words to feel comfortable speaking about these things.  Obama, like all socialists, is at his best lecturing, controlling and organizing.

Very few on the left and in the Muslim world will admit that the American liberation of Iraq was the catalyst for a beneficent domino effect in Lebanon and Iran.  But they should be reminded that this was George Bush's vision from the beginning.  In other words, it was Bush, despite fierce criticism, who believed in a stable Middle East built upon democratic principles.  The same belief has animated the thousands of U.S. troops who have helped to implement this vision in Iraq.

I think deep down Barack Obama understands the Bush Effect.  And he's having trouble now because he can't stand it.
Today's liberal press has made digging for a hot story quite simple.  The secret is to take any domestic or international event or crisis, wait a few days, and then note the singular and glaring omission -- the unremarked elephant in the room in other words.  Since the mainstream press in America has bargained critical thinking for idol worship, the truth often sits quite open and exposed for the rest of us -- a case of easy pickings.

Last week's dramatic demonstration for freedom in Iran provides the latest example of leftist, self-imposed tunnel vision.  The professors and pundits have assured us that a combination of forces -- cyberspace, feminism, the youth factor, Barack Obama -- have created the perfect storm for Iran's contemporary rising tide of freedom. 

For example, in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial, Professor Saad Ibrahim of Harvard University credits "the Obama effect" (specifically Obama's Cairo speech) with energizing "the democratic spirit in the Middle East."  Somehow Mr. Obama's demonstrated reluctance to support the oppressed Iranians never made it to Professor Ibrahim's lecture notes.  Nor did the professor extend any credit to President Bush for igniting this latest spark of freedom in Iran.

Indeed, with an essay entitled "The Mideast's New Spring of Freedom" one would think President Bush's liberation of Iraq would merit inclusion on Professor Ibrahim's list of beneficent ingredients responsible for the current ethos of liberation.  America sacrificed thousands of treasured lives and billions of dollars to promote democracy and freedom in Iraq.  Incredibly, to Mr. Ibrahim however it was the Bush Administration that was responsible for undermining "democracy promotion" in the Middle East:

"Given the elections in Lebanon, Kuwait and Iran, [Obama] and his advisors should resist overreacting to the mistakes of the Bush administration by backtracking on democracy promotion."

When an Iraqi reporter threw a shoe at President Bush last year my first thought was to check whether "Ingratitude" had made the list of the Seven Deadly Sins.  Sadly, I found that for some reason it didn't make the cut.  When Professor Ibrahim equates America's sacrifices for democracy in the Middle East with "mistakes" he's either profoundly ungrateful or simply trolling for tenure at Harvard.  In either case his rewriting of recent Middle East history would surely make George Orwell smile. 

Maybe the underlying theme here is the hard left's antipathy to domino theories -- both the good ones and the bad.  Back in the early 1950s President Eisenhower warned of a domino effect in Southeast Asia if Vietnam were to fall to the communists.  In the early 1960s President Kennedy reiterated the theory to justify his commitment to our South Vietnamese allies.  Throughout the later 1960s and afterward liberal academics and journalists made fun of the domino theory.  Hindsight is a brutal teacher however.  After the fall of South Vietnam in 1975 Laos and Cambodia fell too -- resulting in millions of innocent civilians starved and murdered in the name of communism.

While Professor Ibrahim credits what he calls the "Obama Effect" for producing the latest outbreak of reform in the Middle East, history will see something quite different: the Bush Effect.  Democracy, elections, and freedom in Iraq could not fail to have an impact on the minds of Muslim moderates, especially in Iran.  How does a woman or a young person in Iran manage to put up with a medieval tyranny when across the border in Iraq individuals are starting to flourish under the banner of self-determination and liberty? 

Barack Obama's rather suspicious early response to the exciting and poignant cry for freedom in Iran should have finally ripped the blinders off of Obama's swooning supporters in the human rights establishment.  Truth be told, never does Mr. Obama look as awkward as he does when he's forced to mouth support for "democracy" and "freedom" either at home or abroad.  It's not in the nature of a socialist in other words to feel comfortable speaking about these things.  Obama, like all socialists, is at his best lecturing, controlling and organizing.

Very few on the left and in the Muslim world will admit that the American liberation of Iraq was the catalyst for a beneficent domino effect in Lebanon and Iran.  But they should be reminded that this was George Bush's vision from the beginning.  In other words, it was Bush, despite fierce criticism, who believed in a stable Middle East built upon democratic principles.  The same belief has animated the thousands of U.S. troops who have helped to implement this vision in Iraq.

I think deep down Barack Obama understands the Bush Effect.  And he's having trouble now because he can't stand it.