Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mainstream dictators

"SECRETARY OF State Condoleezza Rice's tour through the Middle East this week has been designed to exploit the 'opportunities' of what she views as a new divide in the region, 'between extremism on the one hand and mainstream states on the other.'
. . . The administration has decided to seek $98 million in funding for Palestinian security forces -- the same forces it rightly condemned in the past as hopelessly corrupt and compromised by involvement in terrorism. Those forces haven't changed, but since they are nominally loyal to 'mainstream' Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and serve as a check on the power of the 'extremist' Hamas, they are on the right side of Ms. Rice's new divide.
So is Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a thuggish autocrat who was on the wrong side of Ms. Rice's previous Mideast divide between pro-democracy forces and defenders of the illiberal status quo.
. . . The new U.S. policy betrays President Bush's freedom agenda, giving a free pass to dictators who support the new geopolitical cause."

The Washington Post. Lost in the Middle East. January 17, 2007.

posted: thursday, january 18, 2007, 3:36 AM ET


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