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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Dana Perino on Bush v. Obama

Former Bush press secretary Dana Perino looks back at a speech that then-President Bush made in Cairo last year and asks whether President Obama will uphold it.
The question I have is whether he’s willing to talk about the difficult steps on the road to that destination. In President Bush’s speech, he made specific points about supporting democracy advocates, free and fair elections, free-market entrepreneurs, and women. Given that, the questions I have are:
* Will Obama be willing to speak out against the jailing of political dissidents in Egypt, as President Bush did?
* Will he stand firmly for free elections, even when we may not like the outcome?
* Will he support free-trade measures to help the Middle East connect itself to the global economy?
* Will he be willing to recognize all that the United States has done to protect Muslims over the past several decades — in Kuwait, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq? And not to forget the extraordinary assistance after the tsunami in South Asia and the earthquake in Pakistan (I remember well how Pakistanis up in the mountains called U.S. Chinook helicopters “angels of mercy”).
In all of my time working for him, I noticed that President Bush did not see people as “Muslims” any more than he saw them as Jews or Christians or Buddhists or atheists. He saw them as individuals, each with God-given value, each deserving the universal gift of freedom. The people of the Middle East should be treated with dignity not because they are Muslims, but because they are human beings. And it was on that premise that President Bush reached out to them.
I hope President Bush is enjoying his retirement. We all miss him here. Although, admittedly, it's the first-term Bush we miss, not the second.


At 7:47 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Obama is about nothing. The things he says he wants in the Middle East won't happen because no one there agrees on the goals or even on the means. Where does he think he can succeed where all his far wiser predecessors failed? Former President Bush could impart him a few lessons of wisdom, where he man enough to take such counsel to heart. The difference between a wise man and the fool is the wise man knows his limitations and the fool recognizes the value of nothing.

I think its obvious how I line up former President Bush and President Obama here.



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