Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Uprising in Egypt Exposes America's Hypocrisy

The uprising in Egypt has exposed America's hypocritical foreign policy.  The United States claims to be the beacon of light for the rest of the world to follow.  America asserts that it is the leader of the free world, the proud protector and promoter of democracy and freedom. 

Contrary to those purported democratic values, the U.S. has overthrown democratically elected governments. Here are a few examples.  In 1951, the U.S. overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh. In 1960, the United States overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister of Congo, Patrice Lumumba. Arguably, the United States overthrew democratically elected former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004. 

For decades, both Democratic and Republican administrations have supported brutal and repressive dictatorships in Egypt, Zaire (Mobutu era), Saudi Arabia, Chile (Pinochet era), Iran (Shah era), Iraq (Saddam era, pre-Desert Storm) and Cuba (pre-Castro era), to name a few.  For approximately 30 years, the U.S. has supported Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's dictatorship.  The U.S. has invested billions of dollars in Egypt's military. 

This contradiction is further evidenced by the Obama administration's evolving response to the situation in Egypt.  Initially, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people."

As the Hill reported, when asked if Mubarak was a dictator, Vice President Biden said, "Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things and he's been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interests in the region, Middle East peace efforts, the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing the relationship with Israel ... I would not refer to him as a dictator." 

As reported by the Washington Post, here is the most recent another statement from the White House,

"It is my belief that an orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful and it must begin now," Obama said he had told Mubarak in the phone call.

"That suggested Mubarak's concession was not enough, but Obama left the point dangling. He was careful not to say that Mubarak should have left immediately, and he stressed that it was not up to the United States to pick Egypt's leaders."

"Furthermore, the process must include a broad spectrum of Egyptian voices and opposition parties," he said. "It should lead to elections that are free and fair. And, it should result in a government that is not only grounded in democratic principles but is also responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people."

If America truly believes in democracy, it must universally demand more democracy at home and abroad.  America must insist that all countries, allies and adversaries alike, implement democratic reforms.  Democracy is the future. Dictatorships, oligarchies and monarchies are outdated forms of government.  The U.S. should urge Mubarak to immediately resign.  I am glad that Obama finally called on Mubarak "to immediately begin the process of transitioning the country to new leadership."

I salute the Egyptian people for standing up to the Mubarak dictatorship.  I hope that one dictatorship is not replaced with another dictatorship.

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