March 11th, 2005

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Don't be fooled - this is no Arab glasnost

FRASER NELSON, Scotsman Newspaper UK, Wed 9 Mar 2005

В статье обсуждаются планы администрации США по исцелению террора в мире путем насаждения демократии в пораженных тем недугом странах - то есть, в первую очередь в арабском мире. Британская газета "Скотсмен" видимо скептически воспринимает такого рода лево-либеральные по своему духу иницитивы, даже если к ним и начинает - по-видиомому под влиянием академически школярской наивности К. Райс - склоняться Буш.

Ниже приводится краткая аннотация (от АЕН) статьи и затем - в основном под катом - полный текст оригинала английского издания, потому что статья к сожалению не линкуется (подписка нужна, чтобы открыть ту страницу).
Don't be fooled - this is no Arab glasnost, by FRASER NELSON

THE domino theory boasts a special place in anti-American demonology. It is regarded as the dangerous neo-conservative assumption that, if Saddam Hussein were to be deposed, other dictatorships would tumble and democracy would take their place.

In the last few weeks, it has not looked so naive. Lebanon has seen a popular uprising against the Syrian occupation, Saudi Arabia held its first-ever ballot and Palestinians chose their president in a free and fair election.

This has led to much elation and a sense of vindication among those who supported the Iraq war. We are witnessing a Middle Eastern version of the 1989 revolutions, it is argued: dominoes have started to fall.

Since protests in Ukraine won back its stolen election, the momentum has been formidable. There has been an undoubted ripple effect, as Al-Jazeera television brought the Arab world the incredible pictures of Iraqis defying death to vote.

To supporters of the Iraq war (this columnist included) it marks a much-welcome break from relentlessly bleak news of insurgency and bloodshed. But scratch beneath the surface of this Arab glasnost, and the picture is much more complicated.

The Arab world is littered with autocracies that various European countries (mostly Britain) put in place. Such regimes owe their defence policy to working out how to buy off the West, as they oppress their people and act like occupying armies.

The West has for too long been happy to do deals with dictatorships, especially if they are rich. Saudi Arabia for years got along by selling discounted oil to countries such as America and Britain, who pledged military protection in return.

But the terrorist attacks of 11 September finally showed the West that such policies will reap what they sow: if you support fanatical regimes - such as that overseen by the House of Saud - the poison they spew out will eventually reach your shores.

So the democratisation project was a direct response to the war on terror. There would be no more appeasement of dictators in fanatical regimes: only political freedom guarantees world peace. Collapse )