Saturday, January 29, 2011

Canada: Obama's Egyptian challenge, remembering Iran

The National Post

Peter Goodspeed: Obama faces a Jimmy Carter moment in Egypt

"Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution is spreading with the same wildfire uncertainty as the tumult that deposed the Shah of Iran 32 years ago.

"Then, as now, the United States and the the West were caught almost totally by surprise as they witnessed a world they had confidently managed and manipulated suddenly transform itself before their eyes.

"The Arab world’s sudden, unprecedented, public demonstrations calling for authoritarian leaders to step down has the potential to produce fundamental change, as surely as the thronging thousands in Tehran changed the Middle East with their chants of “Death to America” and “Islam, Islam, Khomeini, We Will Follow You.”

"Today, as Egypt endures its third straight day of turmoil, it is easy to believe the crowds clashing with police believe they are eroding the foundations of Arab authoritarianism. Each demonstration, each round of tear gas, each fallen dissident and each Internet-fueled call for further rebellion is empowering and enlisting young people who demand change — even if they have no real idea where that may lead."

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