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    29 March 2005

    Rice Remark Alarms Arabs???

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    Dr. Rice's remarks alarm Arab reformers???
    CAIRO (Reuters) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has alarmed many reformist Arabs with comments suggesting a new U.S. approach that promotes rapid political change without regard for internal stability.

    Rice said in an interview with the Washington Post last week the Middle East status quo was not stable and she doubted it would be stable soon. Washington would speak out for "freedom" without offering a model or knowing what the outcome would be.

    "This a very dangerous scheme. Anarchy will be out of control," said Hassan Nafaa, a professor of political science at Cairo University and an advocate of gradual change.

    A liberal Arab diplomat, who asked not to be named, said: "They seem to be supporting chaos and instability as a pretext for bringing democracy. But people would rather live under undemocratic rule than in the chaotic atmosphere of Iraq, for example, which the Americans tout as a model."

    Well no $hit!!

    Our polices in the Middle East are based on the Ends Justifies the Means principle. There is no thought what so ever as to what may happen in the meantime.
    Freedom is on the march, ooops! Excuse me young man, your in our way...

    U.S. policy in the Middle East has traditionally given priority to the stability of cooperative governments such as those in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, while turning a blind eye to the way those governments treat their peoples.

    Mohamed el-Sayed Said, a liberal who has challenged Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to his face over authoritarian government, said Arab societies were too fragile for the kind of rapid and unchecked change that Rice appears to welcome.
    Apart from the danger of extremists coming to power, the Arab world would face the threat that societies and states could collapse completely, he told Reuters.

    "We can hardly take the great risks that Dr Rice suggests. We are determined to keep domestic peace as well as external peace as far as we can, but not to the point of stifling change," added Said, who is deputy director of the al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo.

    I agree, how can a stable state form in the midst of anarchy. Shirin Ebadi, 2003 Nobel Peace Prize recipient agrees. The fruits in Iraq have been rotten so far. Even the Lebanese show fear at rushing a revolution:
    Lebanon's most prominent anti-Syrian opposition leader has said that Hezbollah should keep its weapons until Israel withdraws from a disputed area.

    The Rice column continues...
    Hala Mustafa, editor of the Egyptian quarterly publication Democracy Review, said reformers must have a clear agenda for where they want to go and that instant change would favor the Islamists, who dominate the political culture.

    "If we start without any agenda, it will end in confusion ... We are talking about comprehensive reform that would lead to the change we need, not to turmoil or chaos," she added.


    Abdel Raouf El Reedy, a former Egyptian ambassador to the United States and chairman of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Relations, said the United States was overlooking its own responsibility to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    "If the United States wants to be credible, it has to be serious about ending the military occupation (of Palestinian territories) because this is generating resentment and anger and in this way helping the radical forces in the region," he said.

    We are rushing these revolutions but still building bases around the Middle East, its clear we care not for democracy, but only for access to resources.

    So I say of course you should be alarmed, war is at your door.

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