Secret Hero of the Middle East: George W. Bush gave Arabs hope – but they’ll never admit it

Dispatches recommended by  Ralph Peters:

Over the past week, we’ve seen Egypt’s deposed dictator face charges in a court of law; the tanks of Syria’s dictator killing—but not deterring—unarmed freedom protesters; and ill-armed-but-determined Libyan rebels gnawing their way into the strongholds of the man responsible for more American deaths than any other terrorist but Osama bin Laden. While plenty of problems will plague the Middle East for decades to come, the pace of largely positive change has been swifter than anyone (not least, the Arabs themselves) imagined possible.

For all the dangers and difficulties ahead, there’s real hope in the Middle East for the first time in over a half-century. And the man who made it possible is George W. Bush.

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Bush and the neo-conservatives who drove the invasion of Iraq got many of the details wrong—not least, their assumption that they were smarter than any mere generals—but their great insight was that the Middle East had to change, but couldn’t change on its own. Something had to break the cycle of failure and oppression, or the region would continue to produce Islamist fanatics and crises without end.

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