The paradox of American policy in the Middle East

#1
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/10/w...em&ex=1186891200&en=86147850b2747407&ei=5087

Lebanon’s political spin masters have been trying in recent days to explain the results of last Sunday’s pivotal by-election, which saw a relatively unknown candidate from the opposition narrowly beat a former president, Amin Gemayel.
...
There is one explanation, however, that has become common wisdom in the region: Mr. Gemayel’s doom seems to have been sealed by his support from the Bush administration and the implied agendas behind its backing.

“It’s the kiss of death,” said Turki al-Rasheed, a Saudi reformer who watched last Sunday’s elections closely. “The minute you are counted on or backed by the Americans, kiss it goodbye, you will never win.”

The paradox of American policy in the Middle East — promoting democracy on the assumption it will bring countries closer to the West — is that almost everywhere there are free elections, the American-backed side tends to lose.

Lebanon’s voters in the Metn district, in other words, appeared to have joined the Palestinians, who voted for Hamas; the Iraqis, who voted for a government sympathetic to Iran; and the Egyptians, who have voted in growing numbers in recent elections for the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. “No politician can afford to identify with the West because poll after poll shows people don’t believe in the U.S. agenda,” said Mustafa Hamarneh, until recently the director of the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan.
 
#4
KGB_resident said:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/10/world/middleeast/10arab.html?em&ex=1186891200&en=86147850b2747407&ei=5087%0A

Lebanon’s political spin masters have been trying in recent days to explain the results of last Sunday’s pivotal by-election, which saw a relatively unknown candidate from the opposition narrowly beat a former president, Amin Gemayel.
...
There is one explanation, however, that has become common wisdom in the region: Mr. Gemayel’s doom seems to have been sealed by his support from the Bush administration and the implied agendas behind its backing.

“It’s the kiss of death,” said Turki al-Rasheed, a Saudi reformer who watched last Sunday’s elections closely. “The minute you are counted on or backed by the Americans, kiss it goodbye, you will never win.” 8) Yes bang on you cannot force your ideas, on people who don't want them, even if you land on their beach with T.V. coverage (remember) you cant just buy some countries, also next door is Syria :wink: :wink:

The paradox of American policy in the Middle East — promoting democracy on the assumption it will bring countries closer to the West — is that almost everywhere there are free elections, the American-backed side tends to lose.

Lebanon’s voters in the Metn district, in other words, appeared to have joined the Palestinians, who voted for Hamas; the Iraqis, who voted for a government sympathetic to Iran; and the Egyptians, who have voted in growing numbers in recent elections for the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. “No politician can afford to identify with the West because poll after poll shows people don’t believe in the U.S. agenda,” said Mustafa Hamarneh, until recently the director of the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan.
:D
 
#6
It's only seems to be poisonous when the window dressings of democracy are added to DC's backing. Having Uncle Sam standing behind them has worked rather well for the authoritarian regimes in the Gulf Kingships, Egypt and Pakistan. That these regimes run the societies that produced and harbor the likes of AQ is just a small fly in the ointment.

It's gone rather quiet on the Freedom's March thing since Hamas won that election. In practice DC has always been worried that egalitarian grassroots parties that don't share its mission may gain power. Particularly problematic in the Middle East where folks tend have complex, deep seated loyalties and are a good deal more suspicious of slickly marketed politicians than in the Mid-West. DC was doing all it could to stamp out the Arab secular left a couple of decades ago which ironically helped to create the space for the rise of the Arab Religious Right.
 

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