Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Bush-Blair "Freedom Agenda"

Charles Krauthammer bloviates,
Today, everyone and his cousin supports the "freedom agenda." Of course, yesterday it was just George W. Bush, Tony Blair and a band of neocons with unusual hypnotic powers who dared challenge the received wisdom of Arab exceptionalism - the notion that Arabs, as opposed to East Asians, Latin Americans, Europeans and Africans, were uniquely allergic to democracy.
To the extent that Krauthammer is arguing that Tony Blair personifies the G.W. Bush "freedom agenda", and how it relates to Egypt, I agree completely.
Tony Blair has described Hosni Mubarak, the beleaguered Egyptian leader, as "immensely courageous and a force for good" and warned against a rush to elections that could bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power.

The former prime minister, now an envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, praised Mubarak over his role in the negotiations and said the west was right to back him despite his authoritarian regime because he had maintained peace with Israel.
Yes, when G.W., Tony Blair and their merry "band of neocons" stood for freedom they stood squarely behind people like Mubarak. And they stood in the way of Arab democracy not because they didn't believe it would be embraced, but because those pesky Arabs might have elected the wrong people.

And that pretty much sums up the rest of Krauthammer's column - the Arab world needs democracy, so for now we should prop up dictators and hope that they start creating the necessary institutions and opportunities such that elections can take place once the Arab world is no longer Islamic.

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