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Alas, poor Hosni

Don't you feel sorry for him? The New York Times wants you to.

After more than 20 years of standing alongside American presidents in building peace in the region, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt is feeling undermined by Washington, upstaged by Saudi Arabia and vulnerable before an angry Arab population, officials here say.
Aww. My heart is breaking. Now, remind me exactly what Hosni Mubarak has done for the last twenty years "in building peace"? Last I recall, the United States begged Mubarak to put pressure on Yasir Arafat to go along with the Camp David talks -- and Mubarak refused. The talks collapsed, and here we are. Of course, there's no guarantee that Mubarak could have influenced Arafat, but he didn't even try.
Egypt, an important ally, is the largest recipient of American foreign aid after Israel. One Western diplomat who has been in frequent contact with him says the Egyptian leader fears that with growing numbers of student demonstrators and louder calls for an "Arab response" to Israel's military mobilization, he may be forced to put down the protests violently.
Is there a definition of "ally" of which I am unaware? Why does the Times always seem to think that hostile Arab states that do not cooperate with the U.S. in any aspect of foreign policy are our "allies"?
"They don't want to have to put down their own people," the diplomat said.
They don't? Since when? Has there been a sudden outbreak of freedom and democracy in the Arab world?

You should pity Hosni:

Mr. Mubarak, officials say, is seething over President Bush's approach to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. He is working the presidential phone lines to make what a spokesman described as a "forceful" appeal to President Bush to take a more muscular and balanced stance over the violence in the West Bank.
Ah, yes. Mubarak wants the U.S. to take a "more balanced stance." Except that, as the article notes:
Like most Arab leaders, Mr. Mubarak has avoided denouncing in any sustained or forceful manner the Palestinian suicide bombings, which have both fueled Israel's military mobilization and created a convergence between antiterror statements by Mr. Bush and Mr. Sharon.
Maybe Mubarak should take a "more balanced stance" if he wants the U.S. to do so.

The Times also includes this howler:

The Arab view that the deaths of thousands of Palestinian civilians and the cruelties of 50 years of occupation have stirred a virulent new radicalism that will take years to get under control has far less resonance in the Bush administration.
Well, gee -- perhaps that's because if "the Arab view" is that there have been "50 years of occupation," that means they're counting the entire state of Israel -- not just the West Bank and Gaza -- as "occupation." I wonder why that doesn't have "resonance" in the Bush administration.


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