Gary Gambill: Bush Was Right





Gary Gambill, a Philadelphia-based political analyst, has published widely on contemporary Arab politics.

When mass demonstrations began spreading across the Arab world early last year, conservative commentators lost no time in singing the praises of George W. Bush, the first U.S. president to aggressively push for democratization in the region.

Today, with Islamists dominating politics wherever tyrants have stumbled or fallen, many of those who waxed eloquent about Bush's Freedom Agenda have either fallen silent or taken to arguing that Islamist ascendancy will prove to be a temporary setback on the road to liberal democracy. Those who were critical of it all along are having a field day.

In fact, even if the Arab Spring constitutes "an unshackling of Islam, not an outbreak of fervor for freedom in the Western sense," it is proof positive that the Bush administration correctly diagnosed the causes of Arab political dysfunction and made extraordinarily sound -- if short-lived -- policy changes to combat it....



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