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US policy in the middle east needs a small revision

Reader comment on item: Anoush Ehteshami and Democracy in Egypt
in response to reader comment: Democracy takes time to establish

Submitted by Frank Luke (United States), Feb 10, 2011 at 14:50

Joe reminds us that democracies are cultural in nature. That is a correct analysis. There are many Egyptians who are democratic in nature. The problem with a moslem democracy is, the majority being moslems, they can insist on the shaira law, and if the majority want it, then that is what will be enforced. If the majority decide to do injustice to the minorities, under the law, they will not only be permitted to do so, the law will insist that they do so - under the auspices of the law. In such a society, we need to support a benign dictator. Unfortunately Mubarak was unkind to his subjects and allowed injustice to prevail. This is an indication of US foreign policy. We should have appointed an ombudsman for Egypt to oversee his rule - to ensure that justice was done to the common man.

By merely handing out billions of dollars to a man like Mubarak, we may have kept a pro-US ruler in power for a few decades, but we did not try to ensure justice in Egyptian public administration. This is something we need to do this time around.

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