Saturday, February 05, 2005

Right Wing Democracy Hypocrisy

The ever vigilant Newsmax has produced this article extolling how reform is just sweeping the Arab world. Bush even gave the Saudis as an example of Arab reform in his State of the Union Address. The fact that this is the first election ever of any sort in Saudi Arabia is not discussed too much. Although they do acknowledge that these are only local council elections with only half the member being elected. And also mentioned obvious fact that women cannot vote but that is really no surprise among the Gulf States.

But then Bush tells Iranian reformers that he stands with them for liberty. Now that's all well but he ignoring the fact that Iran is the most democratic country in the Middle East. As women are granted equal political rights in the constitution. Women hold seats in Parliament and numerous local councils. One of Iran's Vice-Presidents is a woman with a very interesting history. Minorities such as Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians have guaranteed seats similar to New Zealand with their First Nations.

Now Iran is far from perfect but still their 1997 elections were certainly freer and fairer then the recent Bush PR victory. As everyone could vote and they weren't under occupation and the reformists won big time. In the recent 2003 election the same 1997 conditions applied but the Council of Guardians disqualified over 2500 reformist candidates. They were help by a passive youth population and the ever growing American threat.

This once again shows that the Bush administration is more than willing to cuddle up to dictatorships (Two billion dollars a year in Egypt's case) while condemn other dictatorships that may or may not be any better. This leads directly to a lost of American credibility in the Middle East. And one could go on with comparisons forever i.e. if Libyan relations could be fulfilled with diplomacy then why is Iraq different, if Syria is bad then what about Egypt (defiantly harder for Christians in Cairo then Damascus), and dictators in Central Asia, Pakistan, North Africa, and the Gulf States are fine but not Cuba.

Sort of makes the right wing blogosphere mindless cheerleading of Bush's 'freedom is on the march' foreign policy look just the slightest bit naive.

2 Comments:

Blogger Thrasher said...

"But then Bush tells Iranian reformers that he stands with them for liberty. Now that's all well but he ignoring the fact that Iran is the most democratic country in the Middle East. As women are granted equal political rights in the constitution."

Dang, where have you been? Nevermind the Sharia law, or the anti-conversion laws... Plenty democratic. There are nothing but mock elections over there; government positions mean little while true control rests with the Mullahs.

15/2/05 11:11  
Blogger weech said...

True doesn't sounds good eh. The Mullahs have power of most important organs of the state but they certianly do not have absolute power as the leaders of most Arab countries do. And the Bush Administration doesn't seem to mind Sharia too much any more as Islamic law will be implemented in Iraq. And anti-conversion laws are by no means unique to Iran. Hell in Lebanon people of different Christian sects cant marry each other.

16/2/05 14:14  

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