Tuesday, June 12, 2007

 

Election Problems in Egypt; Bush to Blame

In an otherwise important story on Egyptian electioneering shenanigans, I loved this closing quote:

"America has let us down," said Salah Noman Mubarak, a 54-year-old plant technician in Alexandria, who along with all other Brotherhood candidates was kept from the ballot in that city. "I have always respected the United States, but the United States since the time of Roosevelt has let us down," the candidate said. "Especially these days.'' Egyptian Voters Impeded In Opposition Strongholds

At 54, Salah Mubarak was born approximately 8 years after the death of Roosevelt so the US has been pretty much letting him down his entire life. So why would he EVER have respected the United States. And as a Brotherhood candidate, his intentions for the Egyptian government are being scuttled because:

“Egypt's government and others in the Middle East fear that movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood will win power through the ballot box by appealing to voters who want more religiously observant governments and who resent the reigns of entrenched leaders.

“…Brotherhood leaders have insisted on retaining the slogan "Islam is the solution."

Post writer Ellen Knickmeyer then goes on to list the other Middle East countries with governments that are dominated by Muslim Brotherhood-like parties which are made up of individuals who also openly respect the United States…except when it doesn’t do enough to defend democratic reforms.

(pause)

Of course I’m kidding. In fact, much of the reporting takes that same at-face-value approach to telling the story. For instance, we learn that:

“Rights organizations and many ordinary Egyptians have accused President Bush of backing away from calls made by past U.S. administrations for democratic reforms here.”

Right before we are reminded that:

“Bush spoke out on behalf of Egyptian dissidents at a speech in Prague last week, saying he regretted that one former Egyptian government official now in jail in Egypt could not attend the function. He listed Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as countries that "have a great distance still to travel" in making democratic reforms.”

This story had enough to it that just reporting the facts would merit serious attention and garner condemnation of Egypt’s actions. Empty quotes and vague references to past administrations and those ubiquitous so-called human rights groups don’t add to understanding the story; they just add to understanding the bias behind the reporting of the story.

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