Nytt

Opinionsdannerne i USA og Europa er så forelsket i protestbevegelser at de glemmer at det å si ordet demokrati ikke er det samme som å skape det, skriver Leslie Gelb.

Bush ble hånet og hatet for sitt ønske om regimeskifte og dominoeffekt i Midtøsten. Men det er samme tanke som ligger bak de liberales støtte til protestbevegelsene. De tror på regimeskifte. Men like lite som Bush har de tenkt på morgendagen. Hvem skal bygge demokratiet?

First, most of the American talkocracy is now so utterly intoxicated with protestocracy, which they call democracy, that they outright neglect the enormous trials of getting from the streets to a real democracy. It’s hard as hell, and the process lends itself to hijacking by extremists.

Gelb har ikke mye godt å si om Barack Obama og administrasjonens håndtering av krisen.

Obama has consistently upheld the universal rights of free speech and protest, acknowledged legitimate grievances, and called for peaceful change. That’s all fine.

But here’s the gist of the administration’s rhetorical roller coaster since the crisis began: They started out saying that Mubarak’s regime was «stable,» they proclaimed Egypt a «close and important ally,» suggesting the need to support Mubarak, and added that he was not a «dictator.» Then they threatened to review the billion-dollar U.S. aid package to Egypt, a real body blow to Mubarak and the military. After Mubarak said he would not run for reelection in September, they called for an «orderly transition.» As protests continued, they called for Mubarak to begin the transition «now.» In sum, they danced to and fro during the first several days and then increasingly hardened their position against Mubarak even as they were privately trying to get him to participate in his own political demise.

The only statement that made complete sense throughout this roller-coaster process was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s on Sunday: «It needs to be an orderly, peaceful transition to real democracy, not faux democracy.» That’s the heart of the matter, and that’s all the administration should have been saying publicly along with a line like, «And, of course, we stand ready to help Egyptians as and when they call upon us to do so.»

At Clinton igår så ut til å falle ned på en slik realisme, er et godt tegn. Men at de var nær ved å skyve Mubarak utfor stupet, er nesten ikke til å tro.

Det samme gjelder viljen til å ta Brorskapet i beste mening. I Europa finnes ikke de samme ressurssterke høyreliberale og konservative motstemmene. Det gjør situasjonen adskillig dystrere.

Obama’s Egypt Flip-Flop
by Leslie H. Gelb