UPI's take on Mubarak and Nour

UPI has a bizarre story on Mubarak and Ayman Nour by the often interesting and quirky Arnaud de Borchgrave, in which he celebrates the former canniness and questions the latter's credentials -- notably by giving a long and detailed list of allegations against Nour. His point:

A checkered background has seldom been a handicap when challenging a strongman in the developing world. In fact, it is often a prerequisite. But it might behoove the administration to take another look at Ayman Nour before it opts to make the annual $2.1 billion aid to Egypt package conditional on democratic change.


I'm not sure how aid and Nour are related, or what de Borchgrave is trying to say with this. Not that I mind it -- it's good not everybody is just ignoring the suspicious aspects of Nour's past like the Washington Post and its naive (in many different ways) campaign against the Mubarak regime. But it's just a little bizarre that he starts with a flattering (and quite good) anecdote about Mubarak and then goes on being negative about Nour.

Anyway, check it out here.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.