Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Arab Fleet Street

Is it possible it's not principally about Mubarak? From an "Economist" survey of Arab reporting and editorializing about Egypt:
Tariq Hameed of the pan-Arab daily Al Sharq Al Awsat writes that Egyptians’ dissatisfaction with Mr Mubarak has nothing to do with the president himself, whom he describes as being "neither Saddam Hussein nor Zine el Abidine Ben Ali [Tunisia's recently ousted president]," and "a nationalist in both war and peace" whom Egyptians are "proud to have as a part of their history." Rather it is the institutionalised tolerance of unlimited presidential terms that they are protesting against:

"The crisis is not a crisis of the Egyptian regime, but a crisis of all Arab republics. If the opponents of Mubarak’s regime blamed it yesterday for being a client of America, how can they blame Washington today for not standing against it strongly, or forget that there other Arab republics whose democratic predicaments are far greater than the plight of the Egypt...? Washington has allowed Nuri al-Maliki to take a second term in Iraq, despite losing the election! Is this a case of Arab hypocrisy, or its absence? What about the Sudanese regime, for example? And the other republics?

"This is not a defense of the Egyptian regime, or any other, but is a call for reason and reflection, rather than emotion."

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