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A Middle East Déjà Vu
By Samer Araabi
Though the recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt were unprecedented in the history of the modern Arab world, they are not altogether new to the Middle East. Similar events occurred in Iran in the 1950s, and the subsequent overthrow of its democratically-elected government in a U.S.-orchestrated coup provides a chilling example of how western involvement in Middle East social change can produce disastrous long-term consequences. As Wael Ghonim, the now-famous Google executive arrested for helping plan the initial Egyptian demonstrations, has written: “Dear Western Governments, You’ve been silent for 30 years supporting the regime that was oppressing us. Please don’t get involved now.” Read article.
SPECIAL PROFILE SECTION
Hawks in Flight
In recent weeks, two of the Senate’s staunchest hawks, Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ), announced they would not run for re-election in 2012. Lieberman, sometimes referred to as a “neoconservative Democrat” because of his support for hardline “pro-Israel” Middle East policies, has served in the Senate since 1989. Kyl, the fierce advocate of missile defense and other aggressive U.S. security policies, has been a senator since 1995. Right Web looks back at their track records.
Right Web Profile: Joseph Lieberman
Right Web Profile: Jon Kyl
The Democratic Leadership Council, which recently announced it was closing shop in 2011, was at the forefront of efforts to push the Democratic Party to adopt more conservative domestic policies and remain supportive of hawkish, Israel-centric Mideast policies.
Harold Rhode, a controversial former Pentagon adviser now based at the neoconservative Hudson Institute, thinks that while Turkey and Iran battle each other for the hearts and minds of the Arab street they are “working together against the non-Muslim world.”
The former U.S. “Drug Czar,” John Walters continues to worry about “narcoterrorism” from his perch as an executive at the Hudson Institute.
The former defense secretary thinks that the United States should consider extending its “nuclear umbrella” to the Middle East in order to keep other countries in the region from going nuclear in the event Iran develops the bomb.
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While the Muslim Brotherhood claims it is the victim of lies and distortions, policymakers aligned with the “Israel lobby” want the organization excluded from any role in Egypt’s future.
Growing Arab demands for an end to autocratic rule and U.S. regional hegemony have led to calls for a complete reassessment of U.S. policy in the region.
The Likud Party star, Natan Sharansky, warned that if the United States supported the old guard in Egypt, it could bolster the standing of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The extraordinary events in Egypt should prove one point for good: Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, U.S. presidents wish their favored Arab states would forever remain nice, docile autocracies.
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