Liberals mocked George W. Bush’s “Forward Strategy of Freedom,” sneering that it was corny and idealistic, wouldn’t work, and didn’t suit exotic, backward, brown people who wouldn’t know what to do with liberty if it fell in their laps.
In the years since U.S. forces ousted the Taliban in Afghanistan and deposed Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the world has beheld a remarkably long line of popular uprisings in Middle Eastern and Eastern European states that has thoroughly vindicated Bush’s approach.
Four months after U.S. Marines took Baghdad in Operation Iraqi Freedom, a quivering-in-his-boots Muammar Gaddafi acknowledged Libya’s responsibility for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing and paid billions in compensation to relatives of victims, and to those of the UTA Flight 772 bombing and the Berlin discotheque bombing.
Three months later we witnessed the Rose Revolution in Georgia, in which the public protested against rigged parliamentary elections, removed President Eduard Shevardnadze, and installed reformist Mikhail Saakashvili.
In 2004 we watched the Ukrainian Orange Revolution, in which protestors kept Viktor Yanukovych from assuming office as Prime Minister after fraudulent elections and instated pro-reform Viktor Yushchenko.
In 2005 we observed the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, in which citizens rioted to protest the assassination of pro-Western former Primer Minister Rafik Hariri, the presence of tens of thousands of Syrian troops, and the rule of a pro-Syrian government.
Days after the Cedar Revolution, we had the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, in which protestors ousted corrupt President Askar Akayev. read more »