Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Instead of taking the obvious route, this intrepid AP reporter went out and found Arabs in favor of regime change.

"It could have some political advantages," said Egyptian sociologist Abdel-Hamid Abdel-Latif, striking his fist on his desk for emphasis. "The bang -- and something happens."

Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Egypt's best-known liberal critic, said in an interview the simple fact is "that wars, bad as they are, they break empires, they break dictators, they leave the ground clear for new systems to be created. "They create havoc, they create disorder. But they also create opportunity."

Last year, announcing $29 million for educational, economic and political development in the Middle East, Secretary of State Colin Powell said the United States was "firmly on the side of change, of reform, and of a modern future for the Middle East."

The United States will have to work long and hard to convince Arabs that it is not on the side of the tyrants. But some think they heard in Powell's words a promise of regime change coming their way too.

Ibrahim said Arabs may at first look with skepticism on U.S.-imposed democracy, and their rulers may try to paint it as dangerous meddling. "But if our autocratic rulers do not allow the internal unfolding of reform, then they should be the last to object to a democratic experiment somewhere else, even if it is instigated by external forces."

< email | 3/19/2003 04:09:00 PM | link

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