The freedom movement that started in Tunisia and quickly spread to Egypt was really started in Afghanistan and Iraq. President George W. Bush, the liberator of Kabul and Baghdad, got the ball rolling by freeing those nations from the brutal jackboot of the Taliban and the Baath Socialists. The war in Afghanistan and Iraq represented the first time that a freedom oriented western power, the United States, had liberated an Arab or Islamic country from despotism. President George Bush, his administration, and our American men and women in uniform are the true heroes behind the events unfolding in Egypt and in the Arab and Islamic world.
None of these events would have been possible if Sadaam Hussein had remained in power in Iraq and if the Taliban had remained in power in Afghanistan. Certainly the difficult work of liberating those nations is not complete, and the job may not be completed for many years if not decades to come, but the effort is already paying dividends. Freedom is a contagious thing and these were just wars. President Barack Obama also deserves a great deal of credit as, in spite of his public protestations to the contrary while running for the Presidency, he has continued soldering on and he is fighting the good fight.
Shortly after the US launched the effort to liberate Iraq, the Syrians were driven out of Lebanon and Libya gave up its nuclear program. For the first time the Iraqi people experienced freedom of the press and this included laptops and cell phones. These developments further opened the door to the internet which spread across Asia and Africa. The move toward freedom was furthered when the Arab and Muslim people saw that the United States was not going to cut and run from Iraq and Afghanistan but would stay the course through thick and thin. The impression was enhanced by the Bush surge in Iraq and the Obama surge in Afghanistan. The Arab and Muslim street became convinced over time that America planned to see freedom through and thus Muslims became emboldened.
Not since Franklin D. Roosevelt called for the unconditional surrender of the Nazis and not since Ronald Reagan defined the Soviet Union as the Evil Empire and preceded to defeat it without a firing a shot had America stood up so strongly for the principle of freedom as did Bush in Iraq and Afghanistan. The growing freedom movement in Africa and Asia is indeed the collapse of the third leg in the stool of the international socialist experiment. The first leg was kicked out by Roosevelt with the defeat of the Nazi Socialists in 1945, the second when Reagan caused the Soviet collapse and the iron curtain lifted across Europe in 1989, and now the final leg is crumbling in the third world as the socialist dictators grab their gold bars and flee.
We are witnessing a capitalist revolution in the third world as the people are demanding the creation of all of the institutions that are often taken for granted in the west. They want jobs, opportunity, business ownership, free institutions, free market, limited government and elections. Certainly very serious dangers remain from the regressive Muslim Brotherhood an their various militant terrorist adjuncts and allies. Yet the sense from the street is that these old political ideas have not gained enough traction and this has been enhanced by the brutal response in Iran to the election there and the threat of a Hezbollah takeover in Lebanon. Which nation will be next? Maybe Saudi Arabia? Maybe Cuba?