The dark side

“By leaning on [Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak, a long-time US ally and client, Washington is seeking to recast its flagging image in a more credible light. With its much-vaunted democratic dawn for the region bogged down in Iraq, the US is looking for a new beacon. Even modest progress in Egypt would bolster Dr [Condoleezza] Rice’s sweeping vision of a democratic Arab world.”

Today’s Sydney Morning Herald editorial is most revealing. American aims in Iraq were never about bringing democracy to the country. The Bush administration has attempted to thwart any democratic impulse since invading in 2003. The Fairfax broadsheet claims that Rice has “a sweeping vision.” Where, exactly, is that clear? What about the fact that Iraq has become, in the words of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, “…a major problem and in fact is worse than Afghanistan.” The Iraq war has created a terrorist threat far greater than existed before the invasion.

The SMH – today publishing pro-Likudite Barry Rubin – is showing its true colours. America and its allies, including Australia, do not want democracy in the Middle East. When will they learn, or read the signs?

UPDATE: For the real situation in Egypt – and actually written by somebody living there – read Mariz Tadros, assistant professor of political science at the American University in Cairo.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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