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Obama Embraces Bush’s Hypocrisy Agenda

President Obama’s remarks Thursday on the Middle East sounded just about as naive and hypocritical as the blather George W. Bush used to offer up. That’s because Obama has embraced Bush’s bloated and inconsistent Middle East “democracy agenda,” which comes down to this:

We will support democracy and freedom in the Middle East, unless we won’t.

This is why people hate us. At least, with the Chinese or the Russians, people understand what they are getting: brutal self-aggrandizement and manipulation with no pretense of resort to higher values.

I get that Obama wants to be consistent – to put forward a philosophy that will guide our interactions with the Arab world. And he understandably wants to be on the side of the good, which means freedom and democracy. He said:

The United States supports a set of universal rights. And these rights include free speech, the freedom of peaceful assembly, the freedom of religion, equality for men and women under the rule of law, and the right to choose your own leaders, whether you live in Baghdad or Damascus, Sanaa or Tehran.

But unfortunately, these goals collide with two other U.S. interests: stability, and oil.

This is why Obama could offer the flowery words above and yet not even mention feudal Saudi Arabia. Nor did he call for Syria’s Bashir Assad to step down, suggesting instead that the man who has in recent weeks killed hundreds of his own people could somehow join the cause of freedom. It’s why Obama, whatever his supposed commitment now to freedom, vacillated for days on what to do about the challenge to Mubarak in Egypt, and why he only now is getting tough with our ally Bahrain as it cracks heads.

I wish I could, but I just don’t believe the sappy nonsense Bush used to promulgate, and which we now hear from Obama, about every heart yearning for freedom. My experience and reading tells me that many hearts yearn instead for order and rules, whether imposed by authoritarian governments or theocracies.

We need to work to change those hearts, to promote democracy. But we need to deal with the world we find. If we knew, as we did, that pushing aside Mubarak may well lead to the Islamic Republic of Egypt while informing our other allies that we are unreliable, then we needed to work to keep Mubarak in place.

Democracy and freedom are long term goals. As societies change, they will be ready for democracies that don’t install Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood in power. But we should not signal to the world that we are the squeaky clean apostles of Jeffersonian values, which is what, despite a few caveats in his speech, Obama suggests.

Our priority is what works best for America. To pretend otherwise only invites contempt.

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16 Responses to Obama Embraces Bush’s Hypocrisy Agenda

  1. No, this is not why they hate us. You call yourself a reporter and this is what you believe ? really ???

    They hate us becasue we won’t let them kill all the jews … they say it every day … how hard is that to understand …

  2. I wonder how Obama would react if Israel said, “You know, you really should consider that Baja Arizona 51st State deal…you are having so much trouble on the border.” I think BUTT OUT might be mentioned.

  3. Keith, I commented yesterday on this issue and word I used was naive. How can people in such a high position be so naive? (code for stupid) Bafles the mind.

  4. Israel is the only functioning democracy in the Mideast and yet Obama continues to push policies that could potentially destroy Israel. I could ask why, but I already know the answer to the question.

  5. Can’t agree with you on this one Keith. Bush/Obama foreign policy is not why these people hate us. These people hate anyone outside their religion. Their faith teaches them to hate the infidels from the day they are born until the day they die. That video of the little old lady spewing hate is just the tip of the iceberg. To them, peace will only come when every Christian and every Jew is dead. We will never win their hearts so we need to stop trying.

    • Susan – I agree that the reasons they hate us are more profound than that we are hypocritical. I perhaps didn’t phrase it well, but I didn’t at all mean to say that this was the sole reason people hate us.

  6. Naive and hypocritical are excuses or rationalizations by those who can’t imagine that the POTUS could not possibly be putting the welfare of foreign nations above our own.
    In his speech, he offered his hopes of freedoms for the MiddleEasternMuslim countries that have already been lost to Americans. By putting emphasis on the grand future he envisions for those who despise us, he shows his bias to Muslim priniciples. Muslims do not crave democracy, but Sharia law that enslaves them to a conduct that keeps the believers in a ancient bubble outside of the modern world.
    There could be a case made that MrO is promoting peace in the countries that we depend on to provide us with oil and is pandering to them so that they don’t shut off the pipeline. But, Palestine isn’t an oil producing area, nor do they produce anything that the world’s economies want to buy.
    When our government started worrying about “peace in the MiddleEast” it was always about our needs. Israel is seen as an threat to what we want from the oil producers and their existence is no longer important.
    In only 65 years after WWII, when America joined the allies to free the world from tyranny, our Prez now embraces it.
    .

  7. Obama will never get Islamic countries to support America because we are still infidels. His 1967 border speech will do nothing for America.

  8. Democracy is not a universal value. Power is. IF democracy was a universal value, there would be more of it. Most of us just want to live lives unencumbered by others telling us what to do. If not checked by individuals either as a rebellion or through a constitution that limits the Government we (the individual) be overrun by bureaucrats. This is the Western Society mechanism. In the Middle East, the populace is indoctrinated to hate Israel and the US because when you focus on your enemies, expoused by the media and by those in control, you can deflect your own oppressive policies. The Middle East has been a backwater of political, economic and individual freedom. It always will be when there are those who want nothing else than to wield power, over others who are not interested in being in control. When change happens slowly through many years, we only notice it is gone when it reaches a certain point. Think of the slow building of a downtown, taking up open space, an farmland by large buildings.
    Obama and his foreign policy have created weakness, and vacuums will be filled by others. In the Middle East, it generally means ruthless thugs, as their constitutions do not respect individual rights. For all of the animosity against Bush, at least Libya voluntarily gave up their nuclear program. Can you even see one Middle East country giving up their nuclear program because they fear Obama? No, they are only expanding their programs, trying to fill the power vacuum as Obama tries to have international agencies – the UN, make the decisions that US leaders used to make.
    Say what you want about America, but at least we try to be go. When we fill power vacuums, we at least try to do it with decency. Yes we fail at times, because HUMAN leaders are in charge after all. I do not care if others hate us. No other country has had the desire to help, not be imperialistic (set up our own government ruling other countries as did Britain during their Empire) as has America.

  9. The last thing the US wants in the middle east is democracies that are pliant to the will of their people. It would be a disaster for America.