Israeli, Saudi and American Leaders Say Arabs Are Not Ready for Democracy

George Washington's picture

Washington’s Blog

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday:

I'm not sure the time is right for the Arab region to go through the democratic process.

Also on Friday, Saudi King Abdullah said he support Egyptian president Mubarak and called the protesters troublemakers for calling for freedom of expression:

King Abdullah has expressed his support for embattled President Hosni
Mubarak and slammed those "tampering" with Egypt's security and
stability, state news agency SPA reported on Saturday.

The Saudi
ruler, in Morocco recovering from back surgery performed in the United
States, telephoned Mubarak early Saturday, the report said.

the conversation, Abdullah condemned "intruders" he said were
"tampering with Egypt's security and stability ... in the name of
freedom of expression."

As FireDogLake notes, the U.S. State Department has taken a similar position.

As a large group of well-respected American academics wrote in an open letter today to President Obama:

political scientists, historians, and researchers in related fields
who have studied the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy, we the
undersigned believe you have a chance to move beyond rhetoric to support
the democratic movement sweeping over Egypt. As citizens, we expect
our president to uphold those values.


For thirty years, our
government has spent billions of dollars to help build and sustain the
system the Egyptian people are now trying to dismantle. Tens if not
hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in Egypt and around the world
have spoken. We believe their message is bold and clear: Mubarak should
resign from office and allow Egyptians to establish a new government
free of his and his family’s influence. It is also clear to us that if
you seek, as you said Friday 'political, social, and economic reforms
that meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people,' your administration
should publicly acknowledge those reforms will not be advanced by
Mubarak or any of his adjutants.


There is another lesson
from this crisis, a lesson not for the Egyptian government but for our
own. In order for the United States to stand with the Egyptian people
it must approach Egypt through a framework of shared values and hopes,
not the prism of geostrategy. On Friday you rightly said that
“suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away.” For that
reason we urge your administration to seize this chance, turn away from
the policies that brought us here, and embark on a new course toward peace, democracy and
prosperity for the people of the Middle East. And we call on you to
undertake a comprehensive review of US foreign policy on the major
grievances voiced by the democratic opposition in Egypt and all other
societies of the region.

As Agence France-Presse reports:

remains a major pawn in the Middle East," said [Didier Billion, an
expert at Institute for International and Strategic Relations (IRIS) in
Paris]. The West fears "a domino effect if Mubarak falls, with a
protest movement that could grow across the world." [And the Egyptian
situation is already affecting the Saudi stock market.]




of the lessons here is that we need to be on the right side of
history in these countries," said US Senator John McCain, who lost his
2008 White House bid to Obama.


"We need to do a better job of emphasizing and arguing strenuously for human rights," he said on the CNN news channel.


"You can't have autocratic regimes last forever. The longer they last, the more explosive the results."

Indeed, the U.S. is now becoming concerned that continuing to back Mubarak will ensure that it is on the losing side of history.

For that reason, Obama changed his tune today, saying
that he supports an "orderly transition" in Egypt. This is not a
change in America's foreign policy so as to embrace democracy in the
Middle East. Rather, it is simply a realization that America's puppet in Egypt has lost his grip on power and is impossible to save.  And see this.

As a prominent writer told me:

We really should
be embarrassed. TE Lawrence promised the Arabs democracy in return for
their support in WWI (it was critical to Allied victory) and Great
Britain welched on the promise. This is more of the same BS.

Indeed, Wikipedia notes:

Britain had promised, through British intelligence officer T. E. Lawrence (aka: Lawrence of Arabia),
independence for a united Arab state covering most of the Arab Middle
East in exchange for Arab support of the British during the war.

goes without saying that the hostility of the State Department and our
"allies" in the War on Terror Israel and Saudi Arabia towards democracy
in Egypt gives lie to the claim that the War on Terror is about bringing
"democracy" to the Middle East.

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dkny's picture

The author either needs some reading comprehension, or has willfuly misrepresented: the person quoted at the very top is an "unnamed official", claimed to be a minister. Still the whole post sounds better with the head of state being attributed such declarations.

That said, I won't deny that there is truth in the obvious fact that for Israel it is easier to deal with only a single guy that is keeping things under control. Undoubtley they are worried of a situation similar to that of Lebanon where it is a total mess and a religious crazy - ahem, spiritual leader - has no qualms in sending followers / suckers to their death for his own agenda.

eddiebe's picture

It's really all very simple:

Cooperation and compassion=Heaven on earth.

Greed and egomania=War and destruction.

Dugald's picture

By George Suh!

I do belive youv'e got it.......

israhole's picture

Rand Paul wants to DUMP ISRAEL, as we should:

Israel abuses it's dupe of an ally at every opportunity.  With friends like Israel, who needs enemies?

Sudden Debt's picture

Americans are not ready to control their own money to, therefore all assets should be put under mandate of the FED.




Zero Govt's picture

The Feds 'Public Asset Acquiring Freedom Act' is shelved mate, bankrupt Balance Sheet sorted, the Fed can now value their own assets as they wish, back in the black is simplicity now, delusional but simple! 

JW n FL's picture

It's incredible, really. The president of the United States can't bring himself to talk about democracy in the Middle East. He can dance around it, use euphemisms, throw out words like "freedom" and "tolerance" and "non-violent" and especially "reform," but he can't say the one word that really matters: democracy.

How did this happen? After all, in his famous 2009 Cairo speech to the Muslim world, Obama spoke the word loudly and clearly - at least once.

Lil Bush Part Deux in Technicolor is a Coward, Liar and all around puppet for the establishment...


Fuck the FED!


Free Egypt Now!!


Free America Next!!!

AnAnonymous's picture

How incredible?

One incredible thing: people thinking it could be other way.

Since Haiti, it's been known that the US wont endure the drawbacks coming with democracy when it was to be installed into a foreign country.

It would be incredible for the US to speak about democracy when it would hurt their interests. It would be deeply opposite to their tradition, inherited since the Haitian events around the 1800s.

The US is conform to what it is.

What should be questioned is that Obama being a muslim story whose allegiance goes first to Islam and stuff. Obama acts really like the common US citizen who wish to preserve US interests first.

Bu, who cares actually?

Bringin It's picture

Hey Sacrilege, I'm sure you're not busy, ;-) so how about ... 

We need a chart, like google trends that shows the existance of a serial junker, [w/o exposing who they are].  The y-axis would be the number of junks.  The x-axis would be the occurance of a junker, sorted by number of junks.

If the resulting chart was flat, we would not have a serial junker.  If the resulting chart went parabolic on the right, we would.

By thread and by the whole site.


arnoldsimage's picture

all the posts, all the musing, all the opinions. i love it. yet you miss what's right in front of your faces. simply put... jesus is in the on deck circle.

Aristarchan's picture

Anonymous junks are the last refuge of scoundrels.

- Samuel Johnson

Kassandra's picture

God, I picked a bad month to quit smoking.

Aristarchan's picture

Two weeks ago, I went from 3 packs a day for 40 years to zip. I am not there yet....I could smoke a stogie three feet long in one puff right now.

Aristarchan's picture

Stay away from the bastards, they will break you financially and physically.

cranky-old-geezer's picture

One ZH weakness is allowing this sort of lame rehashing of obvious-to-everyone stuff, like similar articles saying banksters are crooks when it's obvious to everyone banksters are crooks, etc, ad nauseum.

topcallingtroll's picture

hey aristarchan I hope you see this.  I had one more comment to your last comment.  See you later.  gotta go.

PulauHantu29's picture


The Saudi King calls the freedom of speech protestors "troublemakers?"

That's like when Queen Peglosi called those senior folks at Town Hall meetings Nazi's.

PulauHantu29's picture


The Saudi King calls the freedom of speech protestors "troublemakers?"


That's like when Queen Peglosi called those senior folks at Town Hall meetings Nazi's.



PulauHantu29's picture


What makes these arrogant leaders think they who is ready for what? They said Arabs are "not ready for democracy"....yet Iraq is?

Their Hubris is only matched by Lord Blankfein's.

Bagbalm's picture

Eygpt just needs a suitible heavy bombing campaign to be softened up for democracy.

dwdollar's picture

Warm up the B-52's...  Boeing has another retrofit contract.

Jim in MN's picture

Egypt has its chance to lead the Arab world, the Middle East and the Third World, and to shine a light for all nations.

Fazlur Rahman, the Pakistani Islamic political theorist who has had a fatwa placed on him by reactionaries for his writings, is just one example of the robust political tradition that holds Islam is compatible with popular democracy.  Much of the past 150 years in the Middle East has been the story of outside imperial powers trying to stop the ordinary people from testing this powerful truth. 

Let's see.  Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt...getting closer all the time to the Kingdom and the oil satellite shiekhdoms that Lawrence led on and Churchill betrayed.

Also closer to the heart of the modern world's most precious resource.  Interesting times?  Democracy of angry young people getting near the oilfields?  What if it CAN'T be stopped?

How might Shi'ite and Sunni democratic societies, facing off on the very rim of the Persian Gulf, get along?  Because that, my friends, is the future if natural demographic and geographical forces hold sway.  Ever tried to stop demographics and geography?  It's kind of a bitch.

How many people in the rest of the world are even capable of formulating such a pregnant geopolitical question, let alone dealing with the potential outcomes?

Our entire society rests on such illusion, such shifting sands.  Humanity, compassion and goodwill are not naive, they are our best hope. 

topcallingtroll's picture

geography and demographic forces are destiny.  Democracy will not change that.  Theocracy will not change that.  Oligarchy will not change that.  Couple the population explosion with angry people and at least temporarily dwindling resources (even the cornucopians admit we might have some temporary resource constraints) and add a nuclear weapon or two to the mix.  Yes if there is an apocalypse it will start in the middle east.  I do hope that the leaders that emerge will be smart enough to think this through.

Randall Cabot's picture

LOL That Nutty Netanyahu dude is more laughs than a barrel of monkeys-of course he doesn't think "the Arab region" is ready for democracy, they would elect leaders not controlled by the US and israel!
Anybody remember that assessment of Saudi Arabia after 911? Osama bin Laden would have won. How about the elections in Algeria? When the unapproved by the US and israel party won, the Algerian military (backed by the US and israel of course) voided the election and took power which lead to a civil was and over a million dead!

topcallingtroll's picture

yeah but you are an anti semite for even mentioning this.  I'm going to call AIPAC and have you dismissed from your job tomorrow.

DaveyJones's picture

They meant their democracy

max2205's picture

Gut feel on Egypt ETF EGPT: + 20%

Billy Shears's picture


GoldmanSux's picture

The Saudi's pay about 250 former American diplomats $250,000 per year for life to represent their interests. Saw many of them today on TV were they also pick up their 6 figure CNN gig fee. No disclosure, of course.

Quixotic_Not's picture

Of course - Same shit, different century...

Speaking of CNN, wonder how many know about the origins of Anderson Cooper?

Anderson Hays Vanderbilt Cooper was born on June 3, 1967,[1] the younger son of the writer Wyatt Emory Cooper and the artist, designer, writer, and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, and is a great-great-great-grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt of the prominent Vanderbilt shipping and railroad fortune.


During college, he spent two summers as an intern at the Central Intelligence Agency. Although he technically has no formal journalistic education, he opted to pursue a career in journalism rather than stay with the agency after school,[9] having been a "news junkie" "since I was 'in utero.

Bringin It's picture

Thanks for pointing this out.

Late at night, I was staying at a friends house who has a television.  I'm channel surfing.  Anderson Dufus is on CNN.  He's ranting and sowing panic about new Iranian missles that can fly 6,000 miles and hit Paris!! or London!!  Next it could be Amerika.  Go to 11:30PM commercial break.  Most poor souls go to bed.  Anderson comes back and makes a correction.  'I'm sorry, that was 6,000 kilometers.  They can hit Tel Aviv.'


Quixotic_Not's picture

Anyone that doesn't see the blatant misinformation spread by the MSM, especially by CNN, is truly beyond help...

Mr Poopra's picture

At this point, it wouldn't surprise me one iota to learn that Cooper is an MKULTRA stooge.

Quixotic_Not's picture

I'd be surprised if he isn't....

ebworthen's picture

Yes, as an American, I am embarrassed that our leader(s) have not said the "D" word (Democracy) or come out in support of the Egyptian people versus hedging their bets.

Shameful really, shameful.

Racer's picture

New Wiki update

America Corporate Inc, ACI, previously known as the USA that resulted from united funding of politicians by corrupt corporations is well on its way to the trillionth handing out of the new bailout for the poor..

zillion dollars bills to be exchanged on the completion of a 90 hour work week that will be exchanged on queueing for 10 hours for a happy meal for one

topcallingtroll's picture

The only way to get ready for democracy is just do it. Practice it, have at least one major civil war, and hope for the best.

gwar5's picture

It'll be Sharia democracy which is exclusive to individual rights since muslims are given special rights -- by law.

AnAnonymous's picture

In many, many, many democracies all over the world, citizens are given special rights over non citizens (both residents of the same country of course) and this by law.

So what? Mind to expand on your thoughts?

Aristarchan's picture

Kinda like rich people in the US?:)

nmewn's picture

Hopefully not.

From what I see...they don't want to be controlled anymore.

We'll see.

Zero Govt's picture

who'd want democracy (fascism?) after what we've done to it? .....'next'... let's try freedom for a change, not some authority structure that can't stop wagging its finger and sticking its hands in of our pockets... we've moved on, we can handle ourselves no worries

mberry8870's picture

So do you think any of these idiots in Washington know that this exporting or our debt problems causing commodity price inflation to tragically poor countries is our fault? People that live on $2/day kinda get upset when they can't afford the meager that they use to get?

Now there is blood their hands. Just my opinion.


topcallingtroll's picture

Yes of course they have known.  They finally admitted it after closing the gold window  "It's our dollar but it's your problem."  I tend to agree with that assessment.  Who was that frenchie that said America can run a deficit without tears?  Well that wasn't quite accurate.  We can run a deficit.  The tears will be elsewhere.  so fucking what?  If you don't like our dollar then use something else bitches, in the meantime I don't want to year your complaining.