Democracy in the Middle East?
Well, not so much:
WASHINGTON - The United States is using authoritarian Arab leaders, who fear that Iran could export its revolutionary political model to their disgruntled populations and are concerned about Washington's reprisal against them a la Saddam Hussein in Iraq, as a buffer between the Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel, Washington's protégé in the Middle East, analysts here say.
And Condi Kissinger's grand idea for the New Middle East seems to be "let's you and him fight":
Analysts here agree that the basic theory that Secretary Rice is taking to the Middle East, where she arrived Sunday, is to get Arab regimes that are hugely unpopular with those they rule to work as guard dogs on the Israeli borders against rocket attacks from deeply rooted organisations like Hezbollah in Lebanon or the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in Palestinian territories.
So, while radical terrorist groups like Hezbollah and al-Qaeda oppose those same dictatorial governments, we'll be seen by those on the side of the radicals as supporting the dictatorial governments. Yay! AMAZING tactics there, folks.
Thank god that could NEVER backfire on us, even though one of bin Laden's stated reasons for attacking the United States was not only our unquestioning support for Israel, but our support for countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt:
According to the 1998 fatwa cosigned by Osama bin Laden, his main grievances against the West, and especially the United States, include their support for Israel, their support for several secular dictatorships in the Middle East, and the presence of United States military bases in Saudi Arabia.
(Admittedly SA is not a secular dictatorship, given the influence of the Wahabists, but bin Laden has some long-standing issues with the monarchy and is willing to use them as a convenient reason to justify his actions, regardless.)
We NEED to support REAL democracies, no matter what they look like, not fakie things like the Potemkin government we've set up in Iraq. We NEED REAL leadership and negotiation right now, not just the "we'll see if we can agree to do it my way" crap coming from the squatters in the White House. We NEED a REAL commitment to peaceful, non-violent resistance to human rights abuses ANYWHERE.
Problem is, so many in power right now have a vested interest in the hatred and violence continuing. Someone needs to back down and stop this kindergarten playground "HE HIT ME FIRST" garbage before it escalates. I'm not holding my breath for that to happen given the collection of idiot fanatics we're looking at on all sides.