It wasn’t that long ago that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice went to Egypt and said: “For 60 years, my country, the United States, pursued stability at the expense of democracy in this region here in the Middle Eastmdash;and we achieved neither. Now, we are taking a different course.” And, actually, we kind of did. America aggressively pushed for democratic reforms and human rights, scrapped a bad trade deal, and generally griped about President Hosni Mubarak throwing his 2005 election opponent in jail on trumped-up charges.
Now, Radar is pleased to announce that, thanks to the Condi’s audacity, the seeds of democracy are now taking root in Egypt and will forever … okay, psyche! Just messin’ with ya. Turns out, it was a horrible idea. Team Bush learned that Egyptian democracy means giving more power to radicalized Muslims who, at best, really don’t give a shit about U.S. interests or principles. So they more or less had to retract Condi’s soaring rhetoric this week by cutting all of the pro-democracy and human rights strings attached to a $100 million honey pot of US aid. The timing works out really well for our steady amigos in the Egyptian ruling class—they’re right in the middle of arresting all of their political opponents. Just like old times!