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fettpett
02-16-2011, 12:52 PM
Pretty interesting read form someone who know the situation in the Middle East pretty well

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/15/AR2011021504306.html

The future of a democratic Egypt


Discussion Policy

By Condoleezza Rice
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
As I watched Hosni Mubarak address the Egyptian people last week, I thought to myself, "It didn't have to be this way."

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In June 2005, as secretary of state, I arrived at the American University in Cairo to deliver a speech at a time of growing momentum for democratic change in the region. Following in the vein of President George W. Bush's second inaugural address, I said that the United States would stand with people who seek freedom. This was an admission that the United States had, in the Middle East more than any other region, sought stability at the expense of democracy, and had achieved neither. It was an affirmation of our belief that the desire for liberty is universal - not Western, but human - and that only fulfillment of that desire leads to true stability.

For a time it seemed that Egypt's leadership was responding - not so much to us but to their own people, who clamored for change. Egyptians had just witnessed the retreat of Syrian troops in Lebanon and the election of a new government; the purple-fingered free elections in Iraq; and the emergence of new leadership in Palestine. A few months later, freer if not fully free presidential elections followed raucous civic debate in Egypt's cafes and online. Though Mubarak's party won overwhelmingly, it seemed a kind of Rubicon had been crossed.

Arroyo_Doble
02-16-2011, 02:57 PM
Excellent piece and I agree for the most part. I like her recipe for our foreign policy toward Egypt being "influenc[ing] them through our ties to the military, links to civil society, and a promise of economic assistance and free trade to help improve the lot of the Egyptian people."

I do think this bit was unfair to Turkey, though:


This struggle is playing out across the region - in Iraq, Lebanon and especially Turkey, where decades of secularism have given way to the accommodation of religious people in the public square.

Constitutionally Speaking
02-16-2011, 03:28 PM
Excellent piece and I agree for the most part. I like her recipe for our foreign policy toward Egypt being "influenc[ing] them through our ties to the military, links to civil society, and a promise of economic assistance and free trade to help improve the lot of the Egyptian people."

I do think this bit was unfair to Turkey, though:


This struggle is playing out across the region - in Iraq, Lebanon and especially Turkey, where decades of secularism have given way to the accommodation of religious people in the public square.



I don't think she went far enough with Turkey. It isn't mere accommodation, that would be commendable. It is capitulation on many things and moving toward radicalism that concern me there.

Arroyo_Doble
02-16-2011, 03:37 PM
I don't think she went far enough with Turkey. It isn't mere accommodation, that would be commendable. It is capitulation on many things and moving toward radicalism that concern me there.

They are fighting over whether or not (so far, not) women can wear the hijab in public buildings. I am not sure wanting to wear a head scarf is all that "radical."

fettpett
02-16-2011, 03:48 PM
It's not wanting. It's forcing women to wear a head scarf. There is a big differance.

and the Turkey Constitution specifically separates religion from the Government...so if they stay within their Laws, it'll get thrown out, as it should

Arroyo_Doble
02-16-2011, 03:58 PM
and the Turkey Constitution specifically separates religion from the Government...so if they stay within their Laws, it'll get thrown out, as it should

It goes back and forth. I think the latest was it got tossed. Turkey is pretty protective of their secularism (somehow "secular" is a dirty word in America but not in Turkey .... weird).

djones520
02-16-2011, 04:02 PM
There is nothing "dirty" about the word. What is dirty is the way some people try to inhibit other peoples views through "secularism".

I have spent nearly a year in a secular muslim country, and I've gotta say it works very well. Women are on equal footing, so much that the current President is a woman. The people love the western world. Walking down town, it was obvious we were Americans, and people would stop to shake our hands, college students would yell out about how they love America, etc...

Countries like that show me that there is nothing wrong with Islam. It's just how some people have managed to twist it.