July 17, 2013 |
"As Egypt goes," says an old adage, "so goes the Mideast. " But the historic changes underway in Egypt have repercussions far beyond even that. For four decades, Egypt, as the political and military leader of the Arab world, has been the linchpin of U.S. Middle East policy, the anchor for a moderate and pro-American Arab camp, the first Arab country to make peace with Israel, an indispensable first stop for all regional American diplomacy....
July 16, 2013 |
While Egypt's revolution devolves into chaos, Tunisia's democratic transition, which until now has been the most promising of any in the Arab world, is also in jeopardy. A bill being pushed by Islamists and their allies in National Constituent Assembly called the "law for the protection of the revolution" seems in reality designed to protect the ruling Islamist party, Nahda, from having to face real competition in the next elections. Like its sister party, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Nahda triumphed in Tunisia's first free election, in 2011.
July 11, 2013
Re "Prop. 8 case all about strategy," July 7 The case that ended up overturning Proposition 8 may have been "all about strategy," but it certainly was not about democracy. By a one-vote majority, the Supreme Court effectively refused to hear the case and a lower court decision stood. Thus the votes of 7 million Californians who supported Proposition 8 were thrown out - a blow to democracy. The federal district court ruling was decided by Judge Vaughn R. Walker, a gay man who should have recused himself because of his bias.
July 9, 2013 |
After more than 50 supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi were gunned down by security forces in Cairo on Monday, an official of the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing warned that "to this chaos there is no exit unless Mohamed Morsi returns to office. " That outcome isn't any likelier now than it was last week when the military unjustifiably ousted the democratically elected Morsi, supposedly in deference to popular protests. But the outrage over Monday's violence makes it even more imperative that the military and its civilian allies move toward a restoration of democracy in a way that doesn't create a permanent insurgency.
July 9, 2013 |
There seems to be one thing that unites all the demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir Square, from the young secular liberals who are jubilant that Egypt's military has deposed President Mohamed Morsi to the Islamic militants who demand that he be reinstated: they all are furious with President Barack Obama and the United States of America. On the one hand, the anti-Morsi crowds think Obama gave too much support to Morsi. On the other, the pro-Morsi marchers are calling Obama a hypocrite for giving lip service to democracy while doing nothing in the face of the military coup that overthrew Morsi's democratically elected government.
July 6, 2013
Re "Army ousts Morsi," July 4 It is unfortunate that the Egyptian people found it necessary to depose their new democratically elected government. However, the transition need not result in a denial of democracy. As stated in the Declaration of Independence, "Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
July 5, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The military overthrow of the democratically elected government in Egypt, for decades America's most important Arab ally, has rekindled a fierce debate about whether the Obama administration's Mideast policy has been too passive and ineffective. President Obama declared that U.S. allegiance was to "democratic principles" after Egypt's military ousted President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday, but critics charge that the White House made only halfhearted attempts to steer Morsi's increasingly authoritarian government toward democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights.
July 4, 2013 |
Mohamed Morsi would probably still be the president of Egypt if he had governed in an inclusive and effective way. It's possible to recognize that fact and still lament the willingness of the Egyptian military to undo the results of a free and fair election that occurred only a year ago. Morsi, the preferred candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, was an inept leader who overreached his mandate and presided over a deterioration in the Egyptian economy....
July 4, 2013 |
Once the dust settles from Egypt's military coup Wednesday, the main victim won't be President Mohamed Morsi or the Islamists, who are survivors by nature. The real casualty will be democracy and people's faith in it. Egyptians will have lost their best chance at being an active part of their country's governance in more than 5,000 years. President Obama said he was "deeply concerned" about the coup. But the U.S. should also do some soul-searching; America's long relationship with Egypt's military has included funding, training and propagandizing, and many in Egypt can't help but feel that helped enable the coup.
July 3, 2013 |
As the Egyptian military bowed to millions of demonstrators in the streets to end the presidency of Mohamed Morsi, familiar naysayers reemerged to claim that the protests and the coup show the futility of seeking democratic reform in Egypt and, by extension, the rest of the Arab world. They could not be more wrong. Quite the contrary, the Egyptian people have proved extraordinarily adept students of democracy. It's true that deposing an elected president after just one year in office is hardly ideal.