Joe Biden on the Wrong Side of Middle East History
George W. Bush must be smiling. It started with Afghanistan, then Iraq, Tunisia and now Egypt. The Arab youth are defying Joe Biden and the rest of the American foreign policy “establishment” and proving that their demands are legitimate.
Egyptian students, doctors, lawyers, and the unemployed are showing that democracy is attainable for the Middle East and that Arabs, too, deserve to live in freedom and prosperity. Tunisia’s revolution was quick, Egypt’s was forceful and resolute. All eyes are on Algeria, Palestine, Yemen, and Jordan whose youth seem to be simmering in the same way. Like it or not, George Bush was right and Joe Biden was wrong.
President George W. Bush’s vision for democracy in the Middle East may be coming true. Bush spoke often about how generations of committed freedom fighters worked together to bring down Communism throughout Eastern Europe. And Bush used it as an example to suggest that the Middle East could also experience the same freedoms.
It seems ironic that the same month in which we celebrate President Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday and his forceful demands in Berlin to the Communist leader to “tear down this wall,” the Obama administration missed the chance to support the Middle East’s Berlin moment. President Obama’s flowery Cairo speech in June 2009 tried to carry Bush’s vision for the region forward but subsequently failed to deliver any White House support for the democracy seekers in Iran, Tunisia, or Egypt when they needed it. One Arab diplomat on Twitter said today, “President of the free world to speak about freedom from tyranny today at 1:30. You're 17 days late Mr. President.”
When the Egypt protests started eighteen days ago, Vice President Biden immediately took to the airwaves to question the legitimacy of the protesters, claim that Mubarack was not a dictator, and de-link the situation in Tunisia from what was beginning to happen in Cairo.