Our Undemocratic Allies in the Middle East

Posted on September 22, 2010

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You have to love concision. This small, wizened, easily lost paragraph in the New York Times today accomplishes what its sporadic coverage on our corrupt, undemocratic Middle East allies so rarely does:

Antigovernment activists were arrested on Saturday as they demonstrated against the possibility of Gamal Mubarak’s succeeding his father, President Hosni Mubarak, as Egypt’s leader. About 300 protesters outside the former royal palace in downtown Cairo chanted antigovernment slogans, waved flags and burned pictures of President Mubarak while hundreds of riot police officers surrounded them in tight cordons. The police also confiscated videotapes from camera operators from the BBC and Al Jazeera at the protest, which took place about a year before presidential elections. President Mubarak, 82, has not announced if he will run for another term and extend his nearly 30-year reign. Gamal Mubarak is a high-ranking member of the governing party, and under recent constitutional amendments, is also one of the few politicians in Egypt qualified to run in presidential elections.

This is simply amazing. Our number one Arab recipient of US aid is now preparing to move into the next generation of an already three decade dynasty. Not only has our country made no public efforts to prevent our over three billion in aid to Egypt from going into the coffers of a dynastic regime in Egypt, we’ve actually been looking for ways to immunize that funding from human rights oversight. But hey, look over there, it’s Ahmadinejad!