February 03, 2005

Egypt and Saudi Arabia

To promote peace and stability in the broader Middle East, the United States will work with our friends in the region to fight the common threat of terror, while we encourage a higher standard of freedom. Hopeful reform is already taking hold in an arc from Morocco to Jordan to Bahrain. The government of Saudi Arabia can demonstrate its leadership in the region by expanding the role of its people in determining their future. And the great and proud nation of Egypt, which showed the way toward peace in the Middle East, can now show the way toward democracy in the Middle East.

Realism rather than any full-blown, neo-Wilsonian exuberance. This was simply an acknowledgement that there can be no sustainable progress towards full, regional democratization without moving Egypt and Saudi Arabia along the path some too. I don't expect any mega-policy shifts with regard to either country. Still, this may signal more Ray Takeyh-ish pressure points on Saudi and/or Egypt. Of course, Mubarak and Abdullah (and Bandar) will be sure to have taken note. Truth be told, it was wise to include this reference to these two critical Arab states. Again, region-wide democratization cannot be successful, over the long-term, without further material liberalization in both Cairo and Riyadh. So why not come out and say that? Still, these are complex briefs. And progress with these countries will be intimately related to, not only developments on the Israeli-Palestinian front, but also on how Iraq plays out.

Posted by Gregory at February 3, 2005 03:28 AM | TrackBack (6)
Comments

It seemed to me more significant than that. An expression of sublime confidence...wasn't there a Reagan speech where he spoke of the Soviet Union in the past tense? It's like that, like the tide of history and reform is running with us so strongly that it's just obvious that Egypt and Arabia will have to change, and we don't even have to wrangle about it.

And that kind of confidence tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think success (thus far) in Iraq is starting to pay off.

Posted by: John Weidner at February 4, 2005 12:19 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
Reviews of Belgravia Dispatch
"Awake"
--New York Times
"Must-read list"
--Washington Times
"Pompous Ass"
--an anonymous blogospheric commenter
Recent Entries
Search
English Language Media
Foreign Affairs Commentariat
Non-English Language Press
U.S. Blogs
Columnists
Think Tanks
Law & Finance
Security
Books
The City
Western Europe
France
United Kingdom
Germany
Italy
Netherlands
Spain
Central and Eastern Europe
CIS/FSU
Russia
Armenia
East Asia
China
Japan
South Korea
Middle East
Egypt
Israel
Lebanon
Syria
B.D. In the Press
Archives
Categories
Syndicate this site:
XML RSS RDF

G2E

Powered by