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Excerpt: "A common refrain among pundits is that fear of radical Islam requires (reluctant) opposition to democracy on pragmatic grounds. While not without some merit, the formulation is misleading. The general threat has always been independence. In the Arab world, the United States and its allies have regularly supported radical Islamists, sometimes to prevent the threat of secular nationalism."

A protester stands in front of a burning barricade during a demonstration in Cairo, Egypt, as police and demonstrators fought running battles on the streets, 01/28/11. (photo: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)
A protester stands in front of a burning barricade during a demonstration in Cairo, Egypt, as police and demonstrators fought running battles on the streets, 01/28/11. (photo: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)

RSN Special Coverage: Egypt's Struggle for Democracy

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+19 # Activista 2011-02-03 21:45
Chomsky: "Iran is a threat: 10 percent. In contrast, they regard the U.S. and Israel as the major threats (77 percent; 88 percent)"
The Arabs have at least Al Jazeera and uncensored information - not propaganda and lies in POLICE STATE of USA.
 
 
+26 # Ken Hall 2011-02-04 03:17
If only US citizens would take responsibility for living in a democratic republic. The US empire is killing and impoverishing millions of people around the world in the name, and with the monetary support, of the US public. While most of our victims don't hold a personal grudge against US citizens, they certainly know where the land mines, cluster bombs, rockets, aircraft, machine guns, soldier/rapists , etc, are coming from. Nations are not moral entities, and we've got enough problems in the US that need attention, money, and youthful energy. The WPA and CCC should be revived and US infrastructure repaired and improved with the money saved from the military budget.
 
 
+12 # tomo 2011-02-04 12:03
Great comment, Ken! I wonder if Americans in general have begun to process how totally hypocritical our policies in the Middle East have been. It's all smoke and mirrors. We are sending wonderful, healthy, public-spirited young Americans to die in Afghanistan--su pposedly for the sake of instituting a democratic state there. In the meantime, we have been doing everything possible to shore up a very undemocratic despot in Egypt, rewarding him handsomely--par tly for the able job he has done until the day before yesterday in keeping democracy from developing in his country.
 
 
+4 # rf 2011-02-04 07:07
We MUST keep the cheap oil coming because I just bought a beautiful Lincoln Navigator and I drive alone 50 mile to work each day! Americans are going to get what they have been asking for...world war.
 
 
+13 # rm 2011-02-04 09:11
It is hard to believe that the US and Israel will let their client dictator in Egypt go. It is too valuable for the Israeli slow motion genocide of Palestinians. In the "Clean Break" papers written by US neo-cons for Netanyahu in the 1990s, Israel claimed the privilege of determining who would run the governments of Arab nations.

Let's just hope the Egyptian people can be brave enough and strong enough to withstand the full assault of the Egyptian security forces and army -- all under the control of Israel and the US. Neither Israel or the US consider the lives of Egyptians worth anything. They won't mind slaughtering them by the thousands.
 
 
+12 # Don Thomann 2011-02-04 11:46
Let us not forget that Mubarak's Egypt has been a boon to the U.S. economy. Face it, most of that "foreign-aid" has been nothing more than welfare for the American military-indust rial complex. Where do you think all those U.S. citizens tax dollars are going?
 
 
+9 # tomo 2011-02-04 11:55
The message I take from Chomsky is that a nationalistic government in the Middle East is regarded as a threat to "American" interests. "A nationalistic government" would be one which genuinely promotes the longterm interests of the country's citizens and acts in their behalf. This kind of government, there, is perceived by our government as unacceptable. On the other hand, a despotic government will serve just fine, so long as the despot knows how to get along with us. A country democratic in form but not in substance can also be quite fine.

That Israel and the United States have, for so long, been complacent about Mubarak demonstrates how little either state cares about democracy. "Complacent" is, in fact, too soft a word; our government has been enthusiastic about the good job Mubarak has done in keeping Egyptians in check; and our government has rewarded Mubarak richly with your dollars and mine.

The other point implied by Chomsky and made explicit by Ken Hall is that a government cannot be a steadfast foe of democracy abroad (as we were in Iran in the case of Mossedegh; as we are presently in Saudi Arabia; as we have been until just two or three minutes ago in Egypt) without severely damaging whatever of democracy there is at home.
If one wants just one clear instance of our shredding of democracy, look to the torture of Bradley Manning.
 
 
+7 # genierae 2011-02-04 13:36
Neither the US nor Israel has ever been a democracy. Any country that was founded on genocide and occupation, cannot legitimately claim to be democratic. The American people have been deluded for centuries, and since most of them refuse to think critically, they are willing dupes. It seems to me that the one billion plus that this country gives to Mubarak every year, is a bribe, pure and simple, to protect Israel. What an outrage that our tax dollars are keeping a criminal regime like Israel in a position where they can terrorize and murder innocent Palestinians. We should all, like Thoreau, refuse to pay our taxes until our government cleans up its act. Better yet, we should put a million people on the mall in D.C., and keep them there until the Republicans, (our Mubarak), agree to leave. We will never have a real democracy, where the common good comes first, until we take our country back from these selfish, rich elites. Pay close attention to the protests in Egypt, and you'll see how its done.
 
 
+4 # genierae 2011-02-04 14:45
Let's not kid ourselves. If the Republicans had free rein to do what they wanted, they would behave just like the dictator Mubarak, and we progressives would be exiled or jailed. It is only the Democrats and a few Independents that stand in their way, and since they are now able to buy elections, how long is that going to last? Just think what it would be like if they totally dominated the political scene. They would finish the job that Bush began.
 
 
+2 # JCastron 2011-02-04 21:47
At first genierae's comment might seem extreme, but look at why his reasoning makes sense. Look at the party that has been preaching violence. Look at whose followers actually commit violence. Ask the Congresswoman shot by a mad-man that has been encouraged by right-wing hate. Ask an Abortion doctor that fears for his life. Ask the Tea-Party favorites that want "Second Amendment Solutions" We are at a crossroads and may not have the stomach to be led into sanity and resist the insanity now ruling our decisions.
 
 
+5 # robhood 2011-02-04 16:51
The whole article repeatedly makes the point that pretty much all nations, including the USA, are run by a global elite. It is time we started realizing that we are just pawns, in the eyes of those in charge, and nations, (or at least "national power"), are illusions. Maybe, once we acknowledge this fact, "we the people" will be able to do something about our increasingly oppressive state.
 
 
+4 # SFOtter 2011-02-05 13:21
Ironic that the neocons supporting these right wing dictatorships have so much in common with the self-righteous islamists that they so hate & vilify. They are deluded into thinking of themselves as morally superior even if it means undermining true democratic movements and the will of the greater populations of these troubled states.
 
 
-1 # Yoram 2011-02-08 06:09
Along with all the romanticism of revolution against a corrupt authoritarian leader, let us not forget that in the not so distant past Germany, Japan, Hungary, Italy, and Argentina all elected democratically Fascist/Nazi rulers, in what were meant to be one time elections.
We also have the Iranian revolution by the people against an American supported government that oppressed opposition to its rule to learn from.
 
 
-1 # Yoram 2011-02-08 11:02
Along with all the romanticism of revolution against a corrupt authoritarian leader, let us not forget that in the not so distant past Germany, Japan, Hungary, Italy, and Argentina all elected democratically Fascist/Nazi rulers, in what were meant to be one time elections.
We also have the Iranian revolution by the people against an American supported government that oppressed opposition to its rule.
 

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