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What the Tunisian revolution and Wikileaks tell us about US support for corrupt dictatorships in the Muslim World

By Juan Cole  Posted by Abdus Sattar Ghazali (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
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Here's one obvious lesson of the Tunisian Revolution of 2011: paranoia about Muslim fundamentalist movements and terrorism is causing Washington to make bad choices that will ultimately harm American interests and standing abroad.  State Department cable traffic from capitals throughout the Greater Middle East, made public thanks to WikiLeaks, shows that U.S. policy-makers have a detailed and profound picture of the depths of corruption and nepotism that prevail among some "allies" in the region. 

The same cable traffic indicates that, in a cynical Great Power calculation, Washington continues to sacrifice the prospects of the region's youth on the altar of "security."  It is now forgotten that America's biggest foreign policy headache, the Islamic Republic of Iran, arose in response to American backing for Mohammad Reza Pahlevi, the despised Shah who destroyed the Iranian left and centrist political parties, paving the way for the ayatollahs' takeover in 1979. 

State Department cables published via WikiLeaks are remarkably revealing when it comes to the way Tunisian strongman Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and his extended family (including his wife Leila's Trabelsi clan) fastened upon the Tunisian economy and sucked it dry.  The riveting descriptions of U.S. diplomats make the presidential "family" sound like True Blood's vampires overpowering Bontemps, Louisiana.

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

 

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Abdus Sattar Ghazali Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 
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