The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

Suspicious Minds

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Writing in The National Interest, Sheila Carapico doesn’t seem to appreciate the Egyptian government’s attempt to counter the destabilizing influence of the “democracy promotion” establishment:

Late last month, Egyptian security forces raided offices of Egyptian and foreign nongovernmental organizations, confiscating computers, records and funds. Foreign entities included those funded directly from U.S. budgets, the National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute (IRI) and Freedom House, as well as Germany’s Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Prominent Egyptian human-rights organizations were accused of taking dollars and euros without what military prosecutors deemed proper authorization.

Officials in Washington, Berlin and London expressed alarm and dismay that democracy-building organizations would be subject to search and seizure, especially by a regime that receives so much Western military and economic aid. Bracing for a new round in long struggle over foreign funding of NGOs, which took an ominous twist after the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) took charge last February 11—but had caused trouble for them throughout Hosni Mubarak’s rule—Egyptian defendants were angry but not surprised. The official backlash against democracy promotion may be getting worse, but it is not new.

During last winter’s eighteen-day intifada, rumors were planted about foreign provocateurs. The international English-language press unwittingly fed these allegations. Their reports that Western democracy promoters nurtured fledgling democrats, sending a handful of young activists to study nonviolent resistance with the Serbian organization OPTOR, were recycled in the Arabic-language media.

Carapico, a visiting professor of political science at the American University in Cairo, wants us to believe that these reports in the supposedly “unwitting” New York Times, Washington Post and Foreign Policy were based on nothing more than “rumors.”

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

January 30, 2012 at 11:36 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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