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Chan Lowe: Arab revolt


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Back in the glory days of the British Empire, the mother country was frequently accused of playing fast and loose with troops from the dominions. In WWI, for example, there was a perception Down Under that the cream of Aussie youth had been thrown into the meat grinder against the Turks at Gallipoli while tea-sipping British officers and regulars remained in the rear, thus avoiding the carnage. In the British mind, a British soldier’s life was somehow worth more, and should be conserved at the expense of others. At least, that was the perception.

It’s like that with the U. S. and the regimes we have historically propped up in the Middle East. Democracy is a beautiful thing. It begets prosperity and the freedom to pursue life’s enriching pleasures. But what’s good enough for our exceptional Shining City On The Hill isn’t good enough for the inhabitants of the oil-rich states of the Middle East.

No, the goal there is preserving stability, so that the Shining City’s engine room can be assured prompt and secure delivery of its fossil-fuel lifeblood. Here at home, we congratulate ourselves for promoting the idea of democracy around the world, but tell that to all the oppressed of Latin America whose caudillos we supported because they created a favorable environment for American businesses (and profited richly as a result).

Is it any wonder that there is a robust strain of anti-Americanism among many of the rebels who are, for the first time, flexing their muscle across the Arab world? To them, we are hypocrites who were complicit in perpetuating their misery.

Now that the house of cards we helped build is collapsing, we find ourselves scurrying to be on the right side of history. After all, keeping that oil flowing is our first priority, and we’ll have to cozy up to whoever ultimately wins the power struggle.

Conservatives love to bash President Obama for “apologizing for America,” which he has never done. He has indicated that we are not perfect, and are going to try to be more considerate and compassionate, less imperial. That is not apologizing.

Which isn’t to say a little self-examination of what we do versus who we perceive ourselves to be wouldn’t hurt, regardless of our political leanings.

Categories: Barack Obama (172), John McCain (32), Middle East (28)
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Comments

DOMINO THEORY....This theory was promoted by American foreign policy in the 50's & 60's....It was speculated that if one land in a region came under the influence of communism, then other countries would follow--In a Domino Effect.....

Wouldn't it be nice to think that countries could get some freedom that way.?
If so, let The Domino Theory go on & on----Until they all fall down......


Right again Chan.
Neocon foriegn policy allowed us to do business with terrorists as long as they gave haliburton money.
Here at home the walmart shopping neocons are kept in lock step with propaganda outlets like FoxSnooze so that they can retain what is left of a mostly all white constituency.
This formula worked in the past, but bush the 2nd stretched us to the point of breaking everything American. Now the neocons are eating serious crow and are hoping that folks such as yourself look the other way.
Keep exposing them for the cockroaches that they are Chan


Although the lefties will never admit it, it is the success of creating a democratic government in Iraq that has set the stage for the overthrow of repressive governments throughout the region. The war in Iraq allowed the political structure to emerge. The vehicle for spreading democracy through the region will be the internet and particularly social networking. The world is really changing. There are exciting time ahead, time that can be good if we understand the new rules of the game.


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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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