Much has already been forgotten about the origins of The Bush Doctrine. With hopes for freedom rippling throughout the Middle East it is perhaps instructive to look back to the The 2002 State of the Union Address, best remembered for introducing the “axis of evil,” delivered four months after 9/11.
All fathers and mothers, in all societies, want their children to be educated, and live free from poverty and violence. No people on Earth yearn to be oppressed, or aspire to servitude, or eagerly await the midnight knock of the secret police.
If anyone doubts this, let them look to Afghanistan, where the Islamic “street” greeted the fall of tyranny with song and celebration. Let the skeptics look to Islam’s own rich history, with its centuries of learning, and tolerance and progress. America will lead by defending liberty and justice because they are right and true and unchanging for all people everywhere. (Applause.)
No nation owns these aspirations, and no nation is exempt from them. We have no intention of imposing our culture. But America will always stand firm for the non-negotiable demands of human dignity: the rule of law; limits on the power of the state; respect for women; private property; free speech; equal justice; and religious tolerance. (Applause.)
America will take the side of brave men and women who advocate these values around the world, including the Islamic world, because we have a greater objective than eliminating threats and containing resentment. We seek a just and peaceful world beyond the war on terror.As Thomas Donnelly writes at AEI, “The opportunities to expand the Pax Americana also rest upon one of the few solid truths of social science: Democracies rarely war on other democracies.” They don’t support terrorist organizations that do so either…