Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Tom Engelhardt: Pox Americana

Driving Through the Gates of Hell and Other American Pastimes in the Greater Middle East


By Tom Engelhardt, ZNet, Feb 8, 2011
Source: TomDispatch
 
As we’ve watched the dramatic events in the Middle East, you would hardly know that we had a thing to do with them.  Oh yes, in the name of its War on Terror, Washington had for years backed most of the thuggish governments now under siege or anxious that they may be next in line to hear from their people.  When it came to Egypt in particular, there was initially much polite (and hypocritical) discussion in the media about how our “interests” and our “values” were in conflict, about how far the U.S. should back off its support for the Mubarak regime, and about what a“tightrope” the Obama administration was walking.  While the president and his officials flailed, the mildest of questions were raised about how much we should chide our erstwhile allies, or encourage the massed protestors, and about whether we should “take sides” (as though we hadn’t done so decisively over the last decades).


With popular cries for “democracy” and “freedom” sweeping through the Middle East, it’s curious to note that the Bush-era’s now-infamous “democracy agenda” has been nowhere in sight.  In its brief and disastrous life, it was used as a battering ram for regimes Washington loathed and offered as a soft pillow of future possibility to those it loved.

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