Friday, February 18, 2011

Middle East: US response to crisis

Al Jazeera

PJ: The US finds itself in an impossibly difficult position. For decades, American administrations have promoted democracy around the world, sometimes meddling where they were not wanted. At the same time, they befriended middle eastern regimes for the strategic goals of the US, at times turning a blind eye to human rights abuses of those regimes. Now the Obama administration is finding itself in the best and the worst position of possibly realizing that democratic dream while balancing decades old decisions to support regimes that do not lend themselves to those democratic ideals.

US wavers on Middle East crisis
White House struggles to calibrate uniform response to unrest overtaking the region

As protests and uprisings rock the Middle East, many affecting vital US allies, the White House fails to calibrate a uniform response to the crisis.

Barack Obama, the US president, wavered between strong support for protesters in Iran as the government there heavily cracked down on them, to ambiguous statement on Bahrain, where a major US military is based.

The US says it will not dictate events in the region.

Many find the US response disappointing, and some feel the White House will only react strongly to those governments it does not have a stake in.

Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane

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