Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Cairo Canard

This week, Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak said the following in an interview with a Kuwaiti newspaper:

"There is unemployment. Battling unemployment requires investment. With these demonstrations that we're seeing, the investor will flee, meaning unemployment will spread. It's obvious that the unjustified demonstrations have no program. They are staged just to create a state of unrest that drives out the foreign investor."

And this, in reference to the protestors calling for reform:

"Some people want to rule through rabble-rousing and to impose (their) views and enjoy the current freedom to impose dictatorship. This will not happen."

We can put this last comment in the fall-off-my-chair-in-stunned-disbelief file. Enjoy the current freedom? Dictatorship? If it was at least an honest one, it would be an improvement over what Egyptians have endured for several decades now. As for Mubarak's contention that the democracy movement in Egypt is scaring away investors, maybe President Bush should give Mubarak a jingle to chat about one of his favorite authors. A central tenet of Natan Sharansky's writing is the high correlation between personal freedom and economic growth. Democracy attracts capital--not the other way around. The economic malaise in Egypt is a direct effect of its corrupt, incompetent authoritarianism.

Here's a holiday gift idea: Along with the next check we write to Mubarak, President Bush should include a copy of Sharansky's The Case for Democracy. He might even subtly bookmark the section in which Sharansky debunks the myth that Muslim societies are unsuitable for democracy.

Or would that stray from the definition of "coddling"?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

CR, yours is one of the more interesting blogs I visit regularly. That being said, for all the noise Bush makes about Democracy promotion, who does he really recognize or support as a true proponent? I see through the miracle of, well, wherever prison dreams come from , that Chalabi is the new Iraqi oil minister. Our best friends in the region are all the Royal heads of state and Presidents-for-life, not likely to be voted out of office. When the shit is unraveled we'll find that between Cheney/Halliburton, Chalabi and Bush - Iraqi Oil for Food is going to look like a really puny operation. Two Cents

5/20/2005 12:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like that gift idea. Sharansky is the perfect rebuttal, even if I can't see Mubarak reading him for some strange reason.

5/20/2005 7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Bush to bookmark it, he'd have to read it first himself.

5/20/2005 10:43 AM  
Blogger Tayefeth said...

Our best friends in the region are all the Royal heads of state and Presidents-for-life, not likely to be voted out of office.

I've said for quite a while that the current Republican leadership is not acting like a party that intends to allow itself to be voted out of office.

5/20/2005 1:23 PM  
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