Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Where GWB Is Wrong on "Freedom"

We've touched on this a couple of times, but Reilly says it better.

...President Bush is a man of deep faith, and that his understanding of freedom is not morally empty. And there seems little question that it is his faith that leads him to believe that freedom is a universal charter for mankind. However, this is where he goes awry again. He told Arroyo, "You know, I don't think you can disassociate your faith with how you live your life. I mean, I think it's all engrained. And I am optimistic because I happen to believe in certain universal principles, and I do believe that freedom is universal, and if just given a chance, people will live in a -- will self-govern and live in a peaceful, free society."

Here, the president seems to be paraphrasing the Declaration of Independence, and what he says seems as American as apple pie. However, there are some crucial steps missing in this statement that can lead to huge misunderstandings about what is possible in this world and America's place in it. The assumption contained in President Bush's remark is that, were it not for certain constraints upon them, all people would choose democracy. Therefore, it would appear that our job is to remove those constraints. Then the blessings of liberty will naturally appear, along with peace. This is not true.

In the end, this is a religiously-inculcated 'thing,' this 'freedom.' We are in a RELIGIOUS war--yes, a jihad, so to speak--not a political war.

All people are indeed endowed by their Creator with "certain unalienable rights." However, those rights can only be exercised where they are recognized. The roots of that recognition came principally from the Christian religion.

...the reason the democratization of the Middle East has not happened is that its culture is missing either ingredient necessary for it to succeed [the "equals before God" part]

United States anti-colonial policy in the Middle East after World War II did not seem cognizant of the significance of these things. We thought the problems in the Middle East were the result of British and French occupation. Remove the colonizers, and the Arab peoples would naturally assume the blessings of self-government and liberty. With this in mind, we pressured the British and French to withdraw from their mandates. They did. However, the United States soon learned that the problems of the Middle East were not all of colonial origin; they were indigenous.

Winning "the War for Democracy" requires evangelization.

And that ain't part of the State Department's mission.

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