Bush sees positives for U.S. in Egypt, Arab Spring
July 7th, 2013
02:49 PM ET
10 years ago

Bush sees positives for U.S. in Egypt, Arab Spring

(CNN) – When the dust settles from the protests in Egypt and other Arab nations, the resulting political balance will be favorable to the United States, former President George W. Bush predicts.

"I think (it's) a good thing," he said in an interview with ABC News broadcast Sunday, speaking broadly about the Arab Spring, the string of protests in the Middle East and North Africa stretching back more than two years.

When in office, Bush supported reform, democracy and greater freedoms in the region. He cited those principles as important for building new governments in Afghanistan and Iraq, and in a November 2003 speech in Washington, he pointed to Egypt as a country which showed potential for such change.

"The great and proud nation of Egypt has shown the way toward peace in the Middle East, and now should show the way toward democracy in the Middle East," he said. "Champions of democracy in the region understand that democracy is not perfect, it is not the path to utopia, but it's the only path to national success and dignity."

Nearly 10 years later, on Sunday supporters of the recently deposed Egyptian president continued their demonstrations against what they saw as a military coup, while supporters of the new government also rallied and awaited the naming of a new prime minister. Millions of people turned out to demonstrations last week as the Egyptian military ousted the country's first democratically elected government but promised a roadmap to a new democratic government.

Dozens were killed and over 1,000 were wounded in clashes on Saturday alone.

Bush addressed the violence and uncertainty in the region in the ABC interview, which was recorded while he was in Tanzania.

"Sure, it is tumultuous," Bush said. "But it's a good thing in that people are demanding their rightful place. And they overthrew a corrupt regime in Tunisia. They were unhappy with leadership that wouldn't listen to them in Egypt."

Former President Jimmy Carter, meanwhile, said on Sunday the "military made a terrible mistake" in ousting Morsy, who won last year in an "honest and fair" election. He attributed the shortcomings of the Morsy government that motivated the protests as remnants from the regime of predecessor Hosni Mubarak.

He and representatives from his center observed several of last year's elections and gave them a generally favorable review, despite noting inconsistencies, irregularities and restrictions. Carter pledged to send delegates to future elections there if he could not attend himself.

Bush said, is going through "an evolution" because new democratic governments "take a while to take root."

- CNN's Devon Sayers contributed to this report

Filed under: 2013 • Egypt • George W. Bush
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Name

    Egypt after 30-6

    July 7, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. Woman In California

    I really don't care what Bush's views are. His policies (or lack thereof), incompetence and laziness to govern severly destroyed my stocks, pension and checkbook so why would I, or any sane person, want to hear what Little George thinks about anything?

    July 7, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. rs

    Naturally, Bush (and his neocon supporters) would support the "Arab Spring" , and our role, or relationship to it. Toppling Saddam Hussein set the Arab Spring in action, and so this mayhem is what the neocons wanted. So far, we've seen the effects in Libya, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and it won't finish there.
    Perhaps it is time to take a break, and let the middle east figure itself out. We will never be on the "right" side, and this undertaking will never be "cheap".

    July 7, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. Clarke

    I am with Bush on this one.

    July 7, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  5. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    And why would anyone take advice from this nitwit?

    July 7, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  6. USAPeasant

    "When in office, Bush supported reform, democracy and greater freedoms in the region" - CNN article above.

    Too bad Bush couldn't support reform, democracy, and freedom for his fellow Americans. By all evidence and accounts Bush and his son Obama have taken away democracy and freedom from America faster than any other presidents (Patyriot Act, NDAA, NDRP, NSA spying on Americans, Great Recession, etc. etc.)

    And of course Bush sees postives in the chaos and bloodshed, his buddy Cheney stands to make windfall profits selling weapons to the nuts that will attack us in the future.

    July 7, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  7. Derward

    If you are as sick of seeing this creep as I am, please make your sentiment known to the morons running this news service. It's getting to the point where a person can't read the news, without feeling queasy from seeing a Bush, or picture of a Bush. They're through. They've had their 15 minutes of fame, and ruined a country for years to come..

    July 8, 2013 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  8. Getoverit

    So, Bush agrees with Obama. The Lefty Loon Haters are going to have to dig deep on this one.

    July 8, 2013 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  9. Name Uche Agonsi

    GWB's warped sense of perception is at work again. It never ceases. Its American Republican. How can killing people be considered as democratic, if he really thinks US is for democracy. US should not have to expect Egypt to be undemocratic because of its history which spans for centuries, the influence of Fundamentalists not withstanding. Egypt democracy however could be encouraged/ strengthened by West Influences. I am beginning to think that GWB as a painter should be more tolerable than GWB as a politician.

    July 8, 2013 05:59 am at 5:59 am |