I’d like to remind Mr. Craig Detmer (“Give Bush credit”) that President Barack Obama was thoroughly criticized and roundly attacked when he engaged in an outreach early in his presidency toward the Islamic world. So, I guess it just wouldn’t do to hand the president any credit for his diplomatic efforts that may well have resulted in the current Arab Spring.
Instead, President George W. Bush should receive full credit for homegrown uprisings that occurred some three years after he left office?
Bush engineered two corrupt and unstable governments in Afghanistan and Iraq, where the “elected leaders” were either unwilling or unable to put a halt to internal conflict by civil war (Iraq) or the Taliban (Afghanistan) that ultimately required many years of costly support, especially from the U.S. military and NATO to protect those governments. Incidentally, the Islamic world opposed this sort of U.S. intervention and “nation building.”
We do not know if the end result of the Arab Spring will produce oppressive theocracies. That ultimately must be the decision made by the people of their respective nations.
Joan E. Harman