Many area residents with close ties to the Middle East are closely watching events taking place in their homelands, from Iraqis voting in a democratic election, to Lebanese citizens demanding the end of Syrian influence, to Palestinians electing a new leader, to Egypt promising a legitimate presidential election.
President Bush last month called them ”landmark events in the history of freedom,” but some local observers with a vested interest are reluctant to credit American policy for what is happening….
American support for Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak is typical of Western governments’ ambivalence toward the Middle East, Shalaby said. ”They want democracy, but not our democracy. They want American democracy,” he said. In Muslim countries, he said, ”Islam is the source of all law.”