Monday, April 19, 2010

Change? Under Obama, The Oppressed Have No Hope

It's no surprise, really, that an autocrat like Barack Obama would see no necessity in preserving or encouraging democratic institutions across the world. The democratic process, now that it has driven him to power, can be thrown under the bus, its usefulness all but gone.

And if people he likes are already in power, why would he encourage something as radical as free elections, that, you know, might allow an empowered populace to toss them out?

He won't. Instead, he's crushing the fragile flower of Middle Eastern democracy before it even has a chance to open its petals to the sun:

President Barack Obama has dramatically cut funds to promote democracy in Egypt, a shift that could affect everything from anti-corruption programs to the monitoring of elections. Washington's cuts over the past year - amounting to around 50 percent - have drawn accusations that the Obama administration is easing off reform pressure on the autocratic government of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to ensure its support on Mideast policy, including the peace process with Israel.
"Obama wants change that won't make the Egyptian government angry," said Ahmed Samih, head of a Cairo-based organization that in 2005 used U.S. funds to monitor parliament elections. And in the Egyptian context, that means there will be no change

The administration has made similar cuts in democracy aid to Jordan, another U.S. ally.

The democracy cuts for Egypt are of particular concern as the environment there becomes increasingly restricted - as evidenced by recent crackdowns against political activists, bloggers, and journalists, the U.S.-based democracy watchdog Freedom House said in a report released Friday.

Obama wants to democratize the region the way the leaders of the Arab countries want, not the way the Arab people want, Girgis said.

So much for our "citizen of the world". He's more like a lackey of Arab despots. Finally, America brought to their knees by a man who's afraid to make the Egyptians "angry". If Obama thinks this will bring him respect, rather than the scorn and derision of the natives of the Middle East, he is more naive than I ever could have imagined.

Jennifer Rubin:

...Obama sees democracy and human rights as afterthoughts or, worse, impediments to his smooth dealings with the world’s despots....Obama has not used his vaunted eloquence or his supposed international popularity to advocate for the repressed around the world. To the contrary, he has enabled and encouraged oppressors, who for now need not fear that they will suffer any adverse consequences from the American president.

And the oppressed, who used to look towards America as the eternal light of freedom in an enslaved globe, now see only darkness, and a future with no hope.

Well...that is change. As promised.

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