Attention-Getting Headline

This Los Angeles Times story, posted today, has already garnered 1103 comments.

Arab world sees Bush’s response to Georgia-Russia crisis as hypocritical

CAIRO — President Bush’s condemnation of Russia as a bullying intimidator in the Georgian conflict struck a hypocritical note in a Middle East that has endured violent reverberations from the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and where the sharp White House rhetoric against Moscow echoes what many Arabs feel in turn about the U.S.

Now Bush’s spirited criticism of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Georgia has raised derisive smirks among Arab commentators, who say the U.S. president is condemning the same power politics he practices.

Bush should be “too ashamed to speak about the occupation of any country, he is already occupying one,” said Mohammed Sayed Said, editor in chief of the Egyptian independent daily Al Badeel. “U.S. forces have been in Iraq for five years and they still fight in an unacceptable manner that violates human rights conventions. Bush had better talk about his own occupation of Iraq.”

It is also widely noted here that Washington stood by uncritically during Israel’s military incursion into southern Lebanon in its 2006 war with Hezbollah.

So when Bush declared Friday that “bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century,” many dismissed his statement as a double standard.

And, just on the off chance that you missed these quotes from recent days, here they are:

“In the 21st century, nations don’t invade other nations.” –John McCain, mid-August 2008

“For anyone who thought that stark international aggression was a thing of the past, the last week must have come as a startling wake-up call.”–John McCain, mid-August 2008

Raise your hand if you thought stark international aggression was a thing of the past.

“Russia has invaded a sovereign neighbouring state…. Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century…. We have no doubts about it. This is a deliberate attempt to destroy an entire country and change the regime.”–George W. Bush, August 11 2008

“This is not 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia, where [you]* can threaten a neighbor, occupy a capital, overthrow a government and get away with it.”–Condoleezza Rice, August 13 2008.

*She actually said “Russia.”

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Filed under arab, arabist, War in Iraq

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