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.
July 1, 2013 |
BEIJING -- Carrying banners saying “defend freedom” and “Chinese colonialists get out,” tens of thousands of marchers took to the rainy streets of Hong Kong on Monday to demand full direct elections and removal of the city's chief executive. “We want one person, one vote,” activist Joshua Wong told the crowd that massed at Victoria Park and then marched toward the city's central business district. “That's why we are here. " The annual democracy demonstration coincided with celebrations marking the 16thanniversary of Britain's handover of the former colony to China in 1997.
June 19, 2013
Re "Turkish police launch assault on protesters," June 16 It really is amazing that there are so many interpretations of "democracy" worldwide. On one side we have Turkey, often called a model of democracy in the Muslim world, shooting water cannons and tear gas at people merely for calling for the resignation of their prime minister. On the other side we have Edward Snowden, who has very likely endangered America's national security, and the president himself calls the debate over electronic surveillance that Snowden caused "healthy for our democracy.
June 14, 2013 |
The Anaheim City Council showed its contempt for the principle of representative government again this week, defeating another proposal to let residents vote for council members on a district-by-district basis. The decision means that the voting power of the city's growing Latino population will remain diluted for now. But it's easy to envision a day when demographic change overtakes the city's political elite, and the shoe will be on the other foot. The council has previously stiff-armed efforts to change the city charter and end at-large voting, a practice that enables more politically active residents of the wealthier parts of the city - along with entrenched special interests - to dictate the council's membership.
June 12, 2013 |
ISTANBUL, Turkey - With swagger and grand designs, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rose to power more than a decade ago, heralding a new Islamist-based democracy he envisioned as a model for a Muslim world caught in the grip of autocrats, kings and despots. But more than two weeks of protest against Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian rule have brought a reckoning to a leader who, despite his political astuteness, has miscalculated the fervor from a large part of an electorate opposed to the creeping religious conservatism of his Justice and Development Party, or AKP. Erdogan is still very much in control, and few would venture that the crisis will bring him down, but the protests have hurt him politically and exposed misgivings within his party.