The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

CFR Report on Arab Democratization

The Council on Foreign Relations published its latest report, "In Support for Arab Democracy: Why and How" which was directed by Steven Cook and co-chaired by Fmr. Sec of State Madeline Albright and Fmr. Congressman and Project for the New American Century signature Vin Weber.

I have not read the report yet, but look forward to. The independent task force was reportedly in Cairo to conduct field research last January.

In semi-related news, rumor has it Condi Rice may be swinging through Cairo to meet with the president and to possibly to give a address about democratization in the Arab World around the 20th of June.

According to a Reuters story,

In their public statements, U.S. officials have advised the Egyptian government to take specific steps such as ensuring free presidential elections in September, allowing international monitors, giving the opposition access to the state media and preventing violence against peaceful street protests.
But the officials have thrown little light in public on how fast they think change should happen and whether they are really willing to see the departure of President Hosni Mubarak, who has worked closely with U.S. presidents for a quarter of a century.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in March rejected the argument that political change could lead to instability, saying the region was not stable anyway.
Washington would speak out for ``freedom'' without offering a model or knowing what the outcome would be, she added.

All this while MEPI is witnessing 26-percent cut in its funding. In 2003, MEPI had $100 million to democratize the Arab world. This year, it will have $74-million to liberate the oppressed.