During his trip in Turkey US President George Bush found some time to speak in public about the “American cultural values”.
George Bush told the students of the university of Galatasarai about “cultural excesses of American society”. This politically correct term still demonstrates how serious the problem is. This was good of George Bush to understand that the crusade of American values throughout the world causes problems for the USA. However, the US President understood this probably too late.
Democracy is not American invention, but Americans considered themselves as the fathers of democracy. After returning sovereignty to Iraq, George Bush called the other countries of the region, Iran and Syria in the first place, to be open and start reforms. According to George Bush, the reforms must correspond with the events taking place today. The US President did not elaborate on the direction of future reforms. However, he reassured that going on the democratic path for the Middle Eastern countries does not mean accepting the “American cultural excesses”.
The Middle Eastern countries do not have to accept the US culture, George Bush believes. “Some people in Western countries identify democracy with the worst examples of Western pop culture. I assure you that when I speak on the benefits of freedom, I do not mean some bad TV programs and the dumb lust for profit”, said the US President. According to George Bush, the democratic values correspond with the highest standards of decency.
This must be a very delicate issue for Americans as they had to explain to the residents of the middle East that democracy is a decent thing. However, the USA should also understand other peoples, Iraqis, for example, who would have been more excited about democracy if it had not arrived there in tanks and with the bombs dropped on their country.
The Boston Globe wrote that George Bush had come forward with the initiative of promoting democratic reforms in the Middle East. According to the plan, not only the USA, but all the developed Western countries are required to promote democracy in the Islamic world. Meanwhile, the Middle East country leaders were not too excited about the initiative and called this “peaceful crusade” the “interference in their domestic affairs” at the time when many countries of the region are angry about the US invasion in Iraq. The scandal about torturing Iraqi prisoners made more Moslems denounce the “American values”.
George Bush did not tell this, but called Arabs to follow the example of Turkey which is the “model of freedom and tolerance”. However, George Bush believes that Turkey is a European country, and called the EU to accept Turkey. French President Jacques Chirac criticized George Bush for this. He reminded that the USA in not a European country. Meanwhile, George Bush perceives himself as the world leader being in the position to advise the Middle Eastern countries what kind of regime they should have and to the Europeans whom they should accept in the EU.
The US President hopes that Turkey will help to create bridges between the Islamic world and the West. Mr. Bush thinks that Turkey’s joining the EU would prove that the EU is not the “closed club of one religion”. In turn, the European leaders are not eager to accept Turkey in the EU for these very reasons.
“Prejudice increase hatred and violence”, said George Bush. “If some ignorant person offends Islam in my country, he is heard abroad. And this undermines our goals in the Middle East”.
When some people in the Islamic world provoke hatred and murders by conspiracy theories and propaganda, the generation of young Moslems hears them. But these young Moslems need the truth and hope, not lies and anger”, said George Bush.
He said nothing about the activity of Americans in Iraq. They provoke anger among Arabs in the first place, not some “cultural excesses” of the American society.