State Dep’t says democracy is OK for Tunisia but not Egypt because of Israel

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Thanks to Pulse, here is a wonderful interview of State Dep’t spokesman P.J. Crowley by Shihab Rattansi of Al Jazeera that shows why Obama talked about Tunisian democracy in the State of the Union but said nothing about democracy in Egypt. At about 5:40 Rattansi asks Crowley why the U.S. with all its leverage over Egypt doesn’t pressure it to call off the dogs and let the society move toward democracy?

Says Crowley: “We respect what Egypt contributes to the region, it is a stabilizing force, it has made its own peace with Israel, and is pursuing normal relations with Israel, we think that’s important, we think that’s a model that the region should adopt broadly speaking. at the same time, we recognize that Egypt, Tunisia other countries do need to reform, they do need to respond to the needs of their people, and we encourage that reform and are contributing across the region to that reform.”

Rattansi: [paraphrased] but if Egypt can’t guarantee stability, what’s the point of all your financial support.

Crowley: “We rely on Egypt as an ally to be a stabilizing force in the region… that has benefits across the region.”

Rattansi: “Democracy would be destabilizing to the region generally, wouldn’t it?”

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