Friday, August 31, 2007

Where Bush went wrong, by Sharansky

by Gil Hoffman from The Jerusalem Times

Former minister Natan Sharansky, whose book, The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror has inspired US President George W. Bush, gives Bush a "C" grade for implementing his vision ... when the Iraq war became more complicated, the US State Department insisted on supporting loyal secular dictators such as Mubarak. "America was afraid that if they would fight corrupt dictators, the Muslim Brotherhood would come to power in the Middle East. When America starts speaking powerfully, democratic dissidents are strengthened. But when America makes dictators allies, the dissidents are weakened and Islamic fundamentalism is strengthened. That's why America should not support Mubarak or Saudi Arabia," the former Soviet dissident said. On the Saudi issue, Sharansky asked Rice what was moderate about the Saudi regime, she admitted that he had touched a weak point and from then on, she referred instead to 'responsible Middle Eastern countries.' But Sharansky said, "America has wanted for many years to make Saudi Arabia part of the solution in the Middle East, but if you believe in a link between security and democracy, it's not possible."

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