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Egypt 2

31 Jan 2011

Here are a few other articles related to my post yesterday about Egypt and US foreign policy.  Interesting and important to think about, but, as I said yesterday, let’s not forget the people of Egypt who are facing uncertainty, possible food shortages, and possible violence (due to the conflict or lawlessness).

4 Reasons Why Egypt’s Revolution Is Not Islamic –  by Haroon Moghul
http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/guest_bloggers/4133/4_reasons_why_egypt%E2%80%99s_revolution_is_not_islamic

Beware Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood –  by Leslie H. Gelb
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-01-29/beware-egypts-muslim-brotherhood/p

These first two articles disagree with each other.  Good to read both as both make valid points.  I especially appreciate what Gelb says at the end about how to speak in public and what to say only in private to the concerned parties – very important always, but especially in much of the non-West.

An Open Letter to President Barack Obama (from political scientists, historians, and researchers in related fields who have studied the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy)
http://www.accuracy.org/an-open-letter-to-president-barack-obama

There is another lesson from this crisis, a lesson not for the Egyptian government but for our own. In order for the United States to stand with the Egyptian people it must approach Egypt through a framework of shared values and hopes, not the prism of geostrategy. On Friday you rightly said that “suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away.” For that reason we urge your administration to seize this chance, turn away from the policies that brought us here, and embark on a new course toward peace, democracy and prosperity for the people of the Middle East. And we call on you to undertake a comprehensive review of US foreign policy on the major grievances voiced by the democratic opposition in Egypt and all other societies of the region.

Obama’s Mideast Moment of Truth
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-01-30/egypt-protests-palestinian-leaks-obamas-mideast-moment-of-truth

America is losing its grip on the region, as Egypt and the Palestinian WikiLeaks-style document dump shows. Thank goodness, writes Peter Beinart in this week’s Newsweek—now Obama must stop propping up their autocratic leaders.

What do the mass protests in Egypt and the leaked documents about the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have in common? They show that the Middle East is spinning out of America’s control. For decades, Washington has backstopped Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorship and chaperoned the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Today both efforts are on the brink of failure. No wonder that intermingled with the pro-democracy rhetoric coming out of the Obama administration is a truckload of fear.

It’s time for Obama to choose. George W. Bush spoke endlessly about Middle Eastern democracy, but at the end of the day, he opted for American control. He never seriously pressured Mubarak or other pro-U.S. autocrats. And when Hamas won the freest election in Palestinian history in 2006, his administration pushed Fatah to overturn the results by force.

Israel urges world to curb criticism of Egypt’s Mubarak
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israel-urges-world-to-curb-criticism-of-egypt-s-mubarak-1.340238

 

America is losing its grip on the region, as Egypt and the Palestinian WikiLeaks-style document dump shows. Thank goodness, writes Peter Beinart in this week’s Newsweek—now Obama must stop propping up their autocratic leaders.

What do the mass protests in Egypt and the leaked documents about the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have in common? They show that the Middle East is spinning out of America’s control. For decades, Washington has backstopped Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorship and chaperoned the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Today both efforts are on the brink of failure. No wonder that intermingled with the pro-democracy rhetoric coming out of the Obama administration is a truckload of fear.

It’s time for Obama to choose. George W. Bush spoke endlessly about Middle Eastern democracy, but at the end of the day, he opted for American control. He never seriously pressured Mubarak or other pro-U.S. autocrats. And when Hamas won the freest election in Palestinian history in 2006, his administration pushed Fatah to overturn the results by force.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Scott permalink
    1 Feb 2011 10:29 pm

    I suppose that it might be a bit naive, but I think that with all the emphasis that the US government put on democracy and the right of the people, they really need to help find a face saving way to encourage that democracy in Egypt. That is, can we find a way to help Mubarak leave gracefully without leaving chaos in it’s wake?
    I’ll admit that I did not even know that Egypt had basically been ruled by a dictator for 30 years. But to say that the US stands for democracy only when the people will vote in a way we will like seems a bit un-democratic”.

    • 2 Feb 2011 4:26 am

      Yup, Scott. I agree. People get scared and play the extreme Islamic regime card and talk about Iran and the shah. But that is just the point. The longer we support suppressive regimes, the more likely that we won’t like what happens when things fall apart.

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