Bush Rocks the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi
Truly, no other American President has rocked the Middle East more than George W. Bush. Long after he is gone, the words and actions of George W. Bush will still be making waves in the region. From Iraq, to Kuwait, to Algeria, to Lebanon, to The United Arab Emirates, to Jordan, Morocco and Bahrain, freedom is taking root and hope is on the rise.
It is sad that our corrupt media has not been able to promote this stunning wave of democracy and freedom that is sprouting in the Middle East. Their hatred for the president has them blinded to this amazing regional movement. President Bush won’t get any accolades today, but, maybe someday he will be recognized as the fearless leader who helped bring democracy and justice to a hopeless region.
President George W. Bush delivers remarks from the stage of the auditorium at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi Sunday, Jan. 13, 2008. The President spoke shortly after arriving in the United Arab Emirates on the fourth leg of his eight-day, Mideast visit. (White House photo by Chris Greenberg)
President George W. Bush rocked the Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi today promoting democracy and justice in a region filled with persecution, fanaticism and violence.
The White House has his amazing speech that you won’t be reading in the mainstream news:
…We also see leaders across this region beginning to respond to the desires of their people — and take the steps that will help enhance the stability and prosperity of their nations. The recent elections to your Federal National Council represent the first part of a larger reform designed to make your government more modern and more representative. Algeria held its first competitive presidential elections. Kuwait held elections in which women were allowed to vote and hold office for the first time. Citizens have voted in municipal elections in Saudi Arabia, in competitive parliamentary elections in Jordan and Morocco and Bahrain, and in a multiparty presidential election in Yemen. Across the world, the majority of Muslim people live in a free and democratic society — and the people of the Middle East must continue to work for the day where that is also true of the lands that Islam first called home…
In the last few years, the nations of this region have made some great progress. The World Bank reports that economic growth is strong and it is rising. Saudi Arabia has joined the World Trade Organization. Jordan, Oman, Bahrain, and Morocco have signed free trade agreements with the United States. Your nations are attracting more foreign investment. Oil accounts for much of the economic growth here. But the nations of the Middle East are now investing in their people, and building infrastructure, and opening the door to foreign trade and investment. America supports you in these efforts. We believe that trade and investment is the key to the future of hope and opportunity. We also believe that as we demand you open your markets we should open ours, as well. We’re encouraged by the movement toward economic freedom that we’re seeing across the Middle East.
President George W. Bush and President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates sit under a painting of the Sheikh’s father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, during arrival ceremonies Sunday, Jan. 13, 2008, at Al Mushref Palace in Abu Dhabi. (White House photo by Eric Draper)
We also know that for all the difficulties, a society based on liberty is worth the sacrifice. We know that democracy is the only form of government that treats individuals with the dignity and equality that is their right. We know from experience that democracy is the only system of government that yields lasting peace and stability. In a democracy, leaders depend on their people — and most people do not want war and bloodshed and violence. Most people want lives of peace and opportunity. So it is the declared policy of the United States to support these peoples as they claim their freedom — as a matter of natural right and national interest.
I recognize that some people — including some in my own country — believe it is a mistake to support democratic freedom in the Middle East. They say that the Arab people are not “ready” for democracy. Of course, that is exactly what people said about the Japanese after World War II. Some said that having an Emperor was incompatible with democracy. Some said that the Japanese religion was incompatible with democracy. Some said that advancing freedom in Japan and the Pacific was unwise, because our interests lay in supporting pro-American leaders no matter how they ruled their people.
Fortunately, America rejected this advice, kept our faith in freedom, and stood with the people of Asia.
The United States has no desire for territory. We seek our shared security in your liberty. We believe that stability can only come through a free and just Middle East — where the extremists are marginalized by millions of moms and dads who want the same opportunities for their children that we have for ours.
To the people of Iraq: You have made your choice for democracy, and you have stood firm in face of terrible acts of murder. The terrorists and extremists cannot prevail. They are tormented by the sight of an old man voting, or a young girl going to school — because they know a successful democracy is a mortal threat to their ambitions. The United States is fighting side by side with Sunni and Shia and Kurd to root out the terrorists and extremists. We have dealt them serious blows. The United States will continue to support you as you build the institutions of a free society. And together we’ll defeat our common enemies.
To the people of Iran: You are rich in culture and talent. You have a right to live under a government that listens to your wishes, respects your talents, and allows you to build better lives for your families. Unfortunately, your government denies you these opportunities, and threatens the peace and stability of your neighbors. So we call on the regime in Tehran to heed your will, and to make itself accountable to you. The day will come when the people of Iran have a government that embraces liberty and justice, and Iran joins the community of free nations. And when that good day comes, you will have no better friend than the United States of America.
To the leaders across the Middle East who are fighting the extremists: The United States will stand with you as you confront the terrorists and radicals. We urge you to join us in committing the resources to help the Palestinians build the institutions o
f a free society. Help the citizens of Lebanon preserve their government and their sovereignty in the face of outside pressure from their neighbors. Show the Iraqis that you support them in their effort to build a more hopeful nation. And as you do these things, the best way to defeat the extremists in your midst is by opening your societies, and trusting in your people, and giving them a voice in their nation…
For most of the world, there’s no greater symbol of America than the Statue of Liberty. It was designed by a man who traveled widely in this part of the world — and who had originally envisioned his woman bearing a torch as standing over the Suez Canal. Ultimately, of course, it was erected in New York Harbor, where it has been an inspiration to generations of immigrants. One of these immigrants was a poet-writer named Ameen Rihani. Gazing at her lamp held high, he wondered whether her sister might be erected in the lands of his Arab forefathers. Here is how he put it: “When will you turn your face toward the East, oh Liberty?”
My friends, a future of liberty stands before you. It is your right. It is your dream. And it is your destiny.
God bless. (Applause.)
Of course, this won’t happen overnight.