Bush's Historical Speech
Today's speech of President GW Bush at the National Endowment for Democracy was a historical speech. I am not writing it because of being a supporter of Bush. I am writing it because this is the first time a U.S. president has stated in no unclear terms that "Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe, because in the long run stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty ".
In other words, the U.S. and the West made a mistake in supporting or justifying dictatorships in the Middle East, because of them being pro-U.S., for almost a century. Bush has recognized the fact that the people of Middle East aspire to full democracy as much as the people of the rest of the world.
I am not a supporter of GW Bush. Although I consider Bush's foreign policy, to pursue democracy in the Middle East, to be a correct policy, as I have written about it before the Iraq War, on Feb 1, 2003, nonetheless, I see Bush's economic strategy to be responsible for the disastrous collapse of the post-industrial economic sector in the U.S. economy, and elsewhere in the world, as I noted at the same time. And that the economic failure inside the U.S. even hurts the development of democracy in the Middle East.
But why do I see this speech of GW Bush to be a historical speech? In my opinion, even if he later changes his position and does not support full democracy and secularism in the Middle East, or if someone else becomes the U.S. president in the upcoming elections, I think the reality of the erroneous approach of the West to the Middle East, has been said by the highest office of the United States in this speech, and this will remain for years to come. This is what the people who are under Middle East dictatorships feel and support, when the heads of states in Middle East dictatorships hate to hear.
From the 1953 coup against the democratic government of Dr. Mossadegh in Iran, to all the support of United States to dictatorships of Saudi and the Shah, one thing was continuously neglected by the U.S. and other Western countries, and that was, not standing up for the same values which have made the West to be a success. Values that are paradigm setting to the intellectuals all over the world. Even in Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), where its founder Ayatollah Khomeini flatly condemned *democracy* as a Western concept, and condemned it over and over again, his heir in the person of president Khatami of IRI, has tried to call for democracy, albeit their own oxymoron "Islamic Democracy", to get the support of Iranian people, while he does not say anything about the speeches of Khomeini condemning *democracy*.
Democracy and justice are not separable from secularism and progress in the Middle East, and it is good that the Western policy makers are finally recognizing this truth. The same truth that was clear to them, when looking at the Soviet Communism, but missed to see, when looking at Islamism in the Middle East.
I hope those who are composing the draft of Constitution of Afghanistan see how important democracy and secularism are to the people of Middle East, and not believe the so-called reformist factions of Islamists, who try to scare them, by their false reports that people want religion and state to meddle in each other. This is Islamists' last attempt to get back what they have lost, even when using all their terror and despotic elimination of secular forces from the political process, now that it has been proven to the Middle Eastern people, that mixing of religion and state is wrong and should be fully discarded, thanks to 24 years of IRI experience in Iran, and other Islamist states in other parts of the Middle East.
The reformed Islamists are only trying to save their own ship by using the West. The people of Middle East do not want Islamic canon to be above the Constitution in any of the Middle Eastern countries, just as the Soviet and Eastern Block people did not want the Communist canon to be above the Constitution. It is time to end this vicious circle and the religion should mind its own business and leave the state affairs to the secular organs. People want fully secular republics.
I have discussed the cultural relativists before in the following article. They are the same ones who called for less than full democracy in the Middle East all these years, justifying Islamists; and the same thought is now justifying the lack of full secularism and democracy in Afghan draft of constitution. Cultural relativism is trying to show the universal human rights values to be different for people of the Middle East, a theory that is racist and has been proven over and over again to be wrong:
I hope the U.S. democrats also show their commitment to full democracy and secularism in the Middle East, instead of working with IRI Lobbyists, as they are doing now. The IRI lobbyists are not representing the great majority of Iranians inside and outside of Iran, the people who are fed up with Islamism and religion meddling in politics. The centers opened up by IRI Lobbyists to support democrats in the upcoming US elections, will only be discredit for the democratic candidates who participate in them, as they are collaborators of Islamists of Iran.
In closing I would like to note that it is a great day to hear the affirmation in US President's speech of what democratic and secular forces of Iran and other parts of the Middle East have been saying for over 100 years, that Middle East is as much the region that needs to form secular democracies as any other part of the world.
Sam Ghandchi, Publisher/Editor
Nov 6, 2003
GW Bush's Speech