By Marc A Thiessen
President George W. Bush, 2006 nation of the Union
Read Online or Download A Charge Kept: The Record of the Bush Presidency 2001 - 2009 PDF
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Additional resources for A Charge Kept: The Record of the Bush Presidency 2001 - 2009
He cautioned that “[a]ll who are familiar with the history of the Middle East realize that there may be setbacks in this process. ” But, the President said, “If liberty can blossom in the rocky soil of the West Bank and Gaza, it will inspire millions of men and women around the globe who are equally weary of poverty and oppres39 A Charge Kept: The Record of the Bush Presidency 2001–2009 sion, equally entitled to the benefits of democratic government.... ” With these changes in policy, the President identified terrorism as the primary obstacle to peace in the Middle East and the achievement of a Palestinian state.
The removal of the Iraqi regime, a state sponsor of terror, eliminated this danger, and had a “demonstration effect” for regimes across the world – making clear to all that in an era of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, America would not wait for dangers to gather. The overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime liberated 25 million Iraqis. And it had benefits beyond Iraq’s borders. The leader of Libya announced in December 2003 that he was abandoning his country’s pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.
Following the end of the Cold War, the region had seen a dramatic expansion of freedom as communist dictatorships and military regimes alike gave way to the advance of liberty. Yet despite these advances, millions in the hemisphere were shut off from the promise of this new century. Young democracies struggled to combat poverty, crime, and hopelessness – and this undermined the faith of many in the ability of democracy to improve their lives. Populist demagogues in the region took advantage of this situation to advance increasingly authoritarian rule.