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February 11, 2011

Iranian Mullahs Begin Blocking BBC Persia News Feed, Apparently Not Wanting Their Citizens To See What's Going on In Egypt

The mullahs were cheerleading for this, hoping that a radical, anti-western terrorist claque could take charge in Egypt. That could still happen, obviously. Maybe that's even the way to bet.

But as much as Iran encourages revolution abroad, of course, they fear it at home.

So they don't want their citizens to get the idea that maybe this twice-repeated model is good for a third go.

Via Hot Air, there's more: Bush, not Obama, was forward-leaning on democratization and liberalization in Egypt, while Obama took his typical position of comforting the comfortable dictators.

As ably covered by the Washington Post’s Fact Checker – and former State Department reporter – Glenn Kessler, the Obama administration was far more quiet on the need for Egypt to engage in serious political reform, at least publicly, than the Bush administration.

Perhaps more glaringly, while the Bush administration tried to directly fund civil society in Egypt – pro-democracy groups and the like – the Obama administration changed that policy and cut funding significantly, ending an effort to provide direct funding to democracy groups not “approved” by the Egyptian government, and reduced funding in the budget for programs to promote civil society groups.

As Kessler writes: Bush’s final budget “proposed spending $45 million on democracy and good-governance programs in Egypt, including more than $20 million on promoting civil society…But that nascent effort was largely shelved when the Obama administration took office. For fiscal year 2009, the administration immediately halved the money for democracy promotion in Egypt; the civil society funds were slashed 70 percent, to $7 million. Meanwhile, money that was to be given directly to civil society groups was eliminated and the administration agreed to once again fund only those institutions that had Mubarak's seal of approval.”

More at Hot Air: The Swiss freeze Mubarak's accounts; an unnamed Democratic official emails Politico to say "Obama did it!;" and the military is apparently firing the cabinet and dissolving the parliament and will rule with the input of the chief justice of their supreme court.

I don't think any of that is anti-democratic, necessarily -- you can only be anti-democratic if you're taking action against a democracy, where here, there was none. Just window-dressing fake democracy. Whether this results in a democracy (and, more importantly: a republic where citizens' rights are guaranteed) is still unknown, and very unlikely.

But who cares if their was an unconstitutional coup against and unconstitutional tyrant? Freedom and democracy weren't harmed here, as they weren't at the party at all.


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posted by Ace at 01:54 PM

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