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Why would CBS sit on a legitimate news story? CBS says Ms. Logan wanted to maintain her privacy. Yet CBS could have announced that one of their reporters in Egypt had been sexually assaulted without naming names. One suspects a mob of sexual predators with anti-Semitic tendencies conflicts with the prevailing characterization of “non-violent” and “reasonable” Egyptians. This reality doesn’t exactly validate the description given by New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, who wrote of a “Twitter-enabled Tahrir youth” that embodied “one the great triumphs of the human spirit.” Nor does it square with Huffington Post columnist Clarence B. Jones’ contention that the Egyptian uprising was “a massive eloquent validation of the moral force and power of non-violent civil disobedience” comparable to the “legacies of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.”
Yet reality itself is in play. Apparently drawing on the energy of the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, Iranian protesters are once again taking to the streets in another attempt to bring down the Islamic theocracy running their country. And despite the fact that the Obama administration took a pass in 2009 on arguably the greatest opportunity to engender real change in the Middle East, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton maintained that ”[o]ur message has been consistent and it remains the same. We wish the opposition and the brave people in the streets across cities in Iran, you know, the same opportunity that they saw their Egyptian counterpart seize in the last week.” Mrs. Clinton further claimed that the administration supports “the universal human rights of the Iranian people.”
Universal human rights? To use Mrs. Clinton’s own phrase, the idea that either she or the president have consistently supported universal human rights requires the “willing suspension of disbelief” that the Secretary herself expressed when the universal human rights of the Iraqi people were being supported by General David Petraeus and the Bush administration. Then, and even now, many of those on the left who criticized the removal of Saddam Hussein from power, which is more correctly characterized as the abandonment of freedom for stability, are unfazed by a double-standard of “consistency” which apparently necessitates Mrs. Clinton’s attempt to re-write history with regard to Iran. Perhaps progressives believe democratic and/or freedom movements should only be initiated by locals. This might partially explain why the “good war” in Afghanistan, the one they championed as a contrast to the “bad war” in Iraq, is no longer good.
Where is the Middle East headed? Islamist apologist Mark Levine offers a sobering, if somewhat inaccurate assessment in the Huffington Post: ”No one knew what the next days would bring, but everyone knew that they had been part of something incredible, which no one would be able to take away from them. After centuries of Ottoman, British, monarchical, and military rule, Egypt was free–at least for a night.”
Egypt is still being ruled by the military, Mr Levine. And as further nights give way to further days, the world will see whether the “incredible” uprisings taking place across the region give way to genuine democratic reforms, or if those reforms become nothing more than a stepping stone for Islamic jihadists to impose Sharia law across the entire region.
As this writer and others have noted, there is a vast difference between one man, one vote–and one man, one vote one time.
Arnold Ahlert is a contributing columnist to the conservative website JewishWorldReview.com.
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