U.S. Official Urges Egypt on Democracy 14 replies

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#1 13 years ago

CAIRO, Egypt - A top State Department official said Thursday the Bush administration's commitment to expanding democracy in the Arab world is "absolute and very firm" because U.S. national security is at stake.

Elizabeth Cheney, deputy assistant secretary of state for the Near East, said this month's multicandidate election won overwhelmingly by President Hosni Mubarak amid low turnout, was "a step forward" and historic.

The Arab world's most populous nation has "a lot more work to be done on a number of issues," she said.

"We hope the Egyptian government will make continued progress toward meeting them in upcoming parliamentary elections" in November, Cheney said.

"There's nothing that's more important to us, because at the end of the day, our national security is at stake," said Cheney, the daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, in an interview with The Associated Press.

She met with Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and senior members of the ruling National Democratic Party, including Mubarak's son, Gamal, widely viewed as the president's political heir. On Thursday, Gamal Mubarak promised that his father's ruling party would speed up reforms as he launched a ruling party conference.

During her visit, Cheney also met with opposition parties, talking about the upcoming parliamentary elections and the idea of inviting international observers to monitor them, the U.S. Embassy said.

The United States pushed for international observers during the presidential election, but Egypt rebuffed that.

In the interview, Cheney said the difference in American foreign policy now is that before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, U.S. administrations were "supporting the status quo, because we thought the status quo would bring us security and would bring us stability. Sept. 11 just changed that in a way that's irreversible for us."

Now, she said: "For the first time, America's foreign policy interests and the interests of people in the Arab world who are working for freedom have converged." And nothing will change the administration's commitment, she said, not even the violence in Iraq.

Some critics have accused the Bush administration of being more vocal in its condemnation of the arrests of secular figures such as Egyptian-American human rights activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim, and opposition party leader Ayman Nour than of mass arrests of Islamic figures.

Egypt has banned the country's largest and most popular Islamic group, the Muslim Brotherhood, and kept it from running candidates in elections.

Cheney said the United States has spoken against crackdowns, "no matter who the crackdown has been against," and said all people enjoy fundamental rights.

But she added of Islamic fundamentalist groups: "I think there are some serious questions about the extent to which some of those parties would defend those rights, if they were in power," especially the rights of women and religious freedom.

"You have to be willing to protect that system and defend the rights of others, if you're successful," she said.

What about enforcing democracy onto Saudi Arabia or Kuwait? Correct me if I'm wrong, but most of the terrorists from 9/11 were Saudis. OBL is even a saudi.

Since China, Cuba, Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda aren't democracies, why not administer democracy on those nations also? What's the difference between those nations and Egypt?




Pethegreat VIP Member

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#2 13 years ago

Eygpt has some control over the middle east, they were the ones in in chage of the wars aganist isreal. The palistaninas(sp?) respect them. They could get the saudies to convert if we will stop buying oil from them:p

Also, the Us has been offering democracy ever since we came out into the world. There is relly nothing wrong with suggesting it...




Blood n Guts

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#3 13 years ago

[COLOR=black]Are you suggesting that the US politely ask everyone in the world to use democracy or that it send the world a letter of marquee dictating that anyone that does not switch to democracy will have the US Army march on its capital?[/COLOR] [COLOR=black]

Since China, Cuba, Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda aren't democracies, why not administer democracy on those nations also? What's the difference between those nations and Egypt?

There's difference between administering and asking. The US is asking and encouraging Egypt to continue on its path towards a modern democracy, and probably hinting at political and economic support if they do so, not demanding that they change their system and masterminding the change. Yes, we could politely ask those other countries to take up democracy, but they result would probably be a very embarrassed American diplomat being laughed out of the country.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=black]China[/COLOR][COLOR=black]: You posted the "Bush denies funds to China on the basis of abortion" thread; that showed that the US isn't entirely supportive of the Chinese government's actions. We could be harder on China that we are now, but there are other much worse countries out there and it is very hard to ignore such a large market, a temptation that no modern nation has been able to resist.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=black]Rwanda[/COLOR][COLOR=black]: http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/democracy_and_governance/regions/afr/rwanda.html. USAID is working towards a truely democratic government and a more stable country. [/COLOR]

[COLOR=black]Sudan[/COLOR][COLOR=black]: There's a civil war, both governments aren't exactly doing much governing. Peace and humanitarian aid need to come before the idea of starting a democracy in Sudan should even be thought of.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=black]Cuba[/COLOR][COLOR=black]: the embargo is on the basis of human rights violations and an autocratic government. It may not be helping things there, but if you consider that opening trade with Cuba would provide a new market for the US, which would likely become Cuba's number one trading partner, it shows that the thought is still there.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=black]The only country of that group that the US is truely soft on is Saudi Arabia. This is partly for oil (Saudi Arabia is not the US's largest supplier, but still up there) and partly because any government change would most likely result in a theocracy like Iran's. To the US, a unpopular monarchy that violates human rights but is friendly towards the US is a better option than a more popular theocracy that violates humans rights and hates the US. I wish that the US would take a larger stand against it, but I really don't see what can be done.[/COLOR]




MR.X`

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#4 13 years ago
JeffroWhat about enforcing democracy onto Saudi Arabia or Kuwait? Correct me if I'm wrong, but most of the terrorists from 9/11 were Saudis. OBL is even a saudi. Since China, Cuba, Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda aren't democracies, why not administer democracy on those nations also? What's the difference between those nations and Egypt?

What did the United States and UK do during World War Two? Did we invade Germany right off the bat, or did we slowly liberate the land that the Germans captured? See my point?

We can not simply charge into Communist China demanding democracy. Nor can we push for democracy, at this moment at least, in Saudia Arabia or Kuwait, states that both have very deep rooted monarchies. You have to go for the little fish first before you can catch the big ones.

Cuba will not be communist in at most ten years time. Castro and his government are hugely unpopular in Cuba, and Castro is near death. When he dies, some sort of revolution will take place, and the communists simply will not win.

Rwanda and The Sudan have been embroiled in civil war for years and years. One can not expect the United States to simply send troops into a region as hostile as that and expect democracy. Hell, we tried that in Lebanon in the early 1980s. You had communists, palestinian terrorists, and muslim extremists all in the same country. So we send in the Marines, and basically tell them "here, go be a buffer". 241 American and 58 French lives later, the US learned its lesson.

Somaila? We already tried that, remember? 1992, the UN sends in thousands of peacekeepers. Everything from Pakistanis to US Marines. For the most part, they did their job, and well. But when the some 18,000 US Marines leave, all hell breaks loose. The rest, well, read Black Hawk Down...

This is kinda like the US war on Iraq. So many people say, "Why Iraq? Why not intervene in Liberia or the Sudan?" What they fail to realize is that all great things have to start somewhere. So, I ask you this in return:

Why not Egypt?




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#5 13 years ago

You've have all answered my questions graciously, however one question remains. Why aren't more countries more supportative of the US's movement to administer (or ask) democracy? Yes, we can only do so much, however if we get support from other stable countries, this process would go much smoother and quicker, with less side-effects. There has to be some reason why other countries are being stingy to join us in this effort...




MR.X`

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#6 13 years ago

Because they do not, generally speaking, view themselves as responisble for states other than their own.

As the world's sole remaining superpower, the United States assumes that responsibility. The general attitude of the United States, in terms of foreign policy and military use, is that we must make the world safe for democracy. The justness of this is questionable, but that is the plain truth.

But to be perfectly honest, I don't know why the French, Germans, Italians, et cetera, are not more supportive of the spread of democracy. I think it has something to do with that scourge upon soceity called moral relativism, by which logic those countries have no right to push for a democracy simply because they want to.




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#7 13 years ago

USMA1020, your a sweet, kind, loving, warm human. All cuddly and fuzzy. Thats all I have to say. :beer:




MR.X`

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#8 13 years ago

hcsh85vgv8po.jpg

Yep, thats me alright.

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Relander

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#9 13 years ago
USMA2010Cuba will not be communist in at most ten years time. Castro and his government are hugely unpopular in Cuba, and Castro is near death. When he dies, some sort of revolution will take place, and the communists simply will not win.

Actually on the contrary: Castro and his government are quite popular in Cuba due to working education & health services, propaganda machine, ostensible "free" elections and Castro's personal cult as the saviour of Cuba who knows what is best for Cuba and its people.

I don't think that there will be any revolution in Cuba, at least not a one that will succeed: many of Castro's relatives are in key positions in his administration and they will take Fidel's place after his death.




emonkies

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#10 13 years ago

After Castro passes on I do expect some kind of gesture from the US to open up relations more and I think Cuba might respond and relations will open up more.




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