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NYT: Anti-U.S. Feeling Leaves Arab Reformers Isolated

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krkaufman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-09-06 11:33 PM
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NYT: Anti-U.S. Feeling Leaves Arab Reformers Isolated
Edited on Wed Aug-09-06 11:39 PM by krkaufman
A must read ....
August 9, 2006
Anti-U.S. Feeling Leaves Arab Reformers Isolated

DAMASCUS, Syria, Aug. 8 Moderate reformers across the Arab world say American support for Israels battle with Hezbollah has put them on the defensive, tarring them by association and boosting Islamist parties.

The very people whom the United States wanted to encourage to promote democracy from Bahrain to Casablanca instead feel trapped by a policy that they now ridicule more or less as destroying the region in order to save it.

Indeed, many of those reformers who have been working for change in their own societies often isolated, harassed by state security, or marginalized to begin with say American policy either strangles nascent reform movements or props up repressive governments that remain Washingtons best allies in the region.

We are really afraid of this new Middle East, said Ali Abdulemam, a 28-year-old computer engineer who founded the most popular political Web site in Bahrain. He was referring to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rices statement last month that the situation in Lebanon represented the birth pangs of a new Middle East.

They talk about how they will reorganize the region in a different way, but they never talk about the people, Mr. Abdulemam said. They never mention what the people want. They are just giving more power to the systems that exist already.

His plight is shared by reformers across the Arab world.


This article gives voice to what those with any insight knew from noon, September 11th, 2001 on. We couldn't defeat the terrorists, ultimately, without bringing the moderates in the Arab and Islamic world to our side -- and coming to theirs.

And the Iraq invasion and occupation, along with our ignoring the Israeli/Palestinian issue, have caused perhaps irreparable damage to the cause of freedom, democracy and security in the region.

edit: p.s. post-post comment: I heard about this article while listening to tonight's Majority Report show on Air America Radio. If you haven't heard, and have enjoyed the show, be sure to show Sam and Majority Report some support (link) -- as it seems the show may be in danger of being cut.
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